Meet the MasterChef 2017 finalists: who is Giovanna Ryan?

Everything you need to know about the theatre teacher and amateur chef

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Name: Giovanna Ryan 

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From: Although she grew up in Cambridgeshire, Giovanna is now living in Brixton, London.

Age: 29                 

Profession: Singing and musical theatre teacher

Twitter: @giovannamryan

Who is Giovanna Ryan?

A determined chef who’s been cooking from a very young age – her first memory is chopping mushrooms with a butter knife aged four.

Giovanna picked up her cooking from her Italian grandmother, and the country has greatly influenced her style: “As a second-generation Italian, I have a strong affinity with Nigella. I loved how she didn’t care how many calories were in the food that she cooked as long as it tasted incredible.”

And then she impressed the judges again at the semi-final with a deconstructed lemon meringue tart…

When is the MasterChef 2017 on TV?

The finalists are facing a number of challenges this week. Here’s a taste of what’s to come in each episode.

Monday 8th May, 8.30pm, BBC1

The final five travel to Winfield House, the official residence of the American Ambassador to the United Kingdom, where they have the immense task of cooking for him and his five guests, who include author and journalist Rachel Johnson, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Jeremy King, creator of restaurants The Ivy and The Wolseley.

After cooking a complex menu designed by Paul Ainsworth, and cooking a ‘personal’ dish for Gregg and John, one of the five will be sent home.

Wednesday 10th May, 8pm, BBC1

The final four will be jet-setting to South Africa to face three challenges from the country’s best chefs. They’ll also be cooking at The Test Kitchen, South Africa’s top restaurant and the 25th best in the world.

Thursday 11th May, 8pm, BBC1

It’s time for another contestant to head home: the four hopefuls will be challenged to put their spin on a classic dish, after which one chef will be sent packing by Gregg and John.

Then it’s the scariest task yet: The Chef’s Table. The remaining finalists will be mentored by two-Michelin-Star chef Sat Bains before producing a dish from his experimental menu.

Friday 12th May, 8.30pm, BBC1

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It’s the grand final. The last step to the coveted MasterChef champion’s trophy. But it won’t be an easy one: the contestants have three hours to cook three courses for Gregg and John, who are looking for culinary boundaries to be smashed.