MasterChef is officially back for a 16th series.
Over eight weeks, 60 amateur chefs will be showing off their culinary skills to impress judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.
They’ll be whittled down to just 10 contestants at the end of the knockout week, and there’ll be just three cooks left standing at the finale where one of them will be crowned as the MasterChef champion.
So, as the 16th series continues on BBC, we take a look back at past years and where the Masterchef winners are now.
Irini Tzortzoglou (2019)
She wowed the judges last year with her ambitious cooking skills, including her creative take on Bangers and Mash and her delicious fish and chips recipe.
And since leaving the show, Irini, 61, hasn’t left the kitchen.
The Greek born chef takes part in regular food festival in Cumbria where she lives, and she recently appeared on an episode of MasterChef as a food critique.
She also has her debut cook book, Under the Olive Tree, coming out in June and it’s available to pre-order now.
Described as “Recipes from my Greek kitchen” it will feature lots of Mediterranean inspired dishes, as well as some of the former banker’s faves.
Kenny Tutt (2018)
Kenny Tutt (BBC)
With cooking in his “blood” having come from a family of food traders, Kenny, 37, stormed into the finals and was crowned the 2018 MasterChef champion.
But, what is he doing now?
The dad-of-two has gone on to do great things following his win, including collaborating with 5-star hotels and restaurants.
Last year, he opened his first restaurant, Pitch, in Worthing where he lives with his wife and two daughters.
Located in the heart of Worthing town centre on the beautiful Sussex coast, Pitch is described as “a contemporary mix of modern and classic British food, wines and cocktails.”
It was named after Kenny’s family market heritage and pays homage to the the great produce in the surrounding area.
Speaking of his venture, the former bank manager admitted he wanted it to be “somewhere people can relax and feel comfortable in an atmosphere that still feels special, without that stiff upper lip attitude.”
Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed (2017)
Khashmiri and fusion cuisine were Saliha’s culinary forte, and she certainly managed to win over the judges with her spice-infused menu back in 2017.
Saliha went on to participate in various food shows across the country after her win, and she also hosted her own cookery classes at Seasoned Cookery School.
As well as this, she has collaborated with Michelin Star chef Atul Kochar at his restaurant Indian Essence in Kent and with Chef Sameer Taneja at Talli Joe in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue.
She previously announced that her debut cookbook KHAZANA was coming out. The Indo-Persian cookbook is expected to be available on 3 March 2020.
Despite her culinary success, Saliha has since returned to her work as an NHS Doctor specialising in Gastroenterology at Watford General Hospital.
Jane Devonshire (2016)
Jane Devonshire (BBC)
It’s been a busy few years for Jane – who won the show four years ago.
Now a MasterChef, Jane has used her platform to shed light on coeliac disease, which her son Ben suffers from.
She created her very own cookbook, Hassle Free Gluten Free, including a sumptuous collection of home cooked recipes, and this was later endorsed by Coeliac UK.
Jane has also worked with a number of amazing chefs including Marcus Wareing, Atol Kochner, Jason Atherton, Michel Roux and Michael O’Hare at their restaurants.
Simon Wood (BBC)
His cooking dreams started at just age eight when he won a competition. Fast-forward to the present day and Simon’s dreams are now a reality.
The former data manager now owns three Woods restaurants in Manchester and Chester and smaller chain Woodkraft in Cheltenham.
He has been appointed executive chef of Oldham Event Centre part of Oldham Athletic Football Club where he works across fine dining events in the club and masterclasses, and he also released his debut cookbook, At Home with Simon Wood – Fine Dining Made Simple, in 2016.
Ping Coombes (2014)
Ping Coombes (BBC)
Born and raised in the town of Ipoh in Malaysia, Ping grew up with amazing food around her and was inspired by her mother’s cookery.
She started teaching herself how to make such dishes, which she later wowed Gregg and John with and won MasterChef for.
Since appearing on the show, Ping has become a Malyasia Kitchen Ambassador.
She has given talks about Malaysian food at the World Economic Forum in Davos, appeared at Malaysia Nights in Trafalgar Square and prominent food festivals including Taste of London.
In 2017, she launched her cookbook, MALAYSIA, which she describes as her “baby”.
She now runs monthly supperclubs in Bath called Ping’s Makan Club, where the menu changes frequently.
Natalie Coleman (2013)
Natalie Coleman (BBC)
Natalie has swapped her life as a credit controller/ techno DJ for whipping it up in the kitchen.
Since her MasterChef victory, she’s worked at some of the UK’s most renowned restaurants (including Le Gavroche, the Gilbert Scott and the Hand & Flowers) and appeared on various TV shows.
She published her first cookbook Winning Recipes: For Every Day in 2014 and also teaches children’s cookery classes in schools and at cookery schools in school holidays.
Shelina Permalloo (2012)
Since winning MasterChef Shelina has published two books – Sunshine on a Plate inspired by the land of her heritage, Mauritius and The Sunshine Diet.
As well as catering at private dining events, Shelina completed stages at Michelin restaurants including Nahm and Benares and 1 Lombard Street.
In 2016, she opened her first restaurant Lakaz Maman in Bedford, Southampton.
Tim Anderson (2011)
Tim Anderson (BBC)
Tim has carved out his dream career working as a freelance chef, food writer and consultant. This role has seen him work with various companies from Google and Unilever. He’s also a regular guest on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube and Drinks Tube, as well as Radio 4 food panel show The Kitchen Cabinet.
One of his proudest moments, however, has to be the launch of his cookbook, Nanban: Japanese Soul Food, and the opening of his acclaimed restaurant of the same name, which is located in the heart of Brixton.
Dhruv Baker (2010)
Dhruv Baker (BBC)
Dhruv continued to pursue his cooking dreams, following his MasterChef triumph.
He’s worked in some of the UK’s finest restaurants including Le Gavroche, The Kitchin and Helene Darroze at the Connaught, and has also presented on Waitrose TV.
He published his first book Spice in 2014 and in the same year, opened his gastro pub The Opened Jolly Gardeners in South West London.
Mat Follas (2009)
Matt Follas (BBC)
The series five winner has achieved huge success since his win. He opened his first restaurant, The Wild Garlic, to great national acclaim, receiving 2 AA Rosettes and being recommended in The Good Food Guide and The Michelin guide.
His recipes are published in a variety of magazines, he regularly judges food competitions and he has two published books – MasterChef, The Great Taste Awards and The World Cheese Awards.
James Nathan (2008)
James Nathan (BBC)
Long gone is his career as a barrister, James has fully dedicated himself to cooking professionally. He is now the head chef of the St Enodoc Hotel in Cornwall overlooking the beautiful Camel Estuary.
Steven Wallis (2007)
Steven Wallis (BBC)
After winning MasterChef, Steven travelled the world and had many culinary adventures. He’s put that knowledge to good use as a writer, private chef and flavour consultant. He’s now relaunched himself as a brand consultant and creative provocateur, saying he can “provide stretch thinking and can join the dots between abstract ideas and tangible brand and product realities”.
Peter Bayless (2006)
Peter Bayless (BBC)
Since his win, the foodie has released a book about being on the BBC show, entitled My Father Could Only Boil Cornflakes, appeared on food shows including The Good Food Show and managed to forge a part time career as a cookery teacher.
Thomasina Miers (2005)
Thomasina Miers (BBC)
The chef went on to famously found Mexican restaurant Wahaca, which now has 25 chains across the country. They also have three bars and two street kitchen locations. She’s also had success in publishing, bringing out a number of books and has presented TV shows for Channel 4.