MasterChef The Professionals 2021 cast: Meet all the top chefs on the BBC show
There will be 32 professional chefs competing this year - who will be whittled down to only one winner...
Gregg Wallace, Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing are back to cast their critical eye over the work of thirty-two professional chefs, who will soon be whittled down to just eight after a series of intense heats.
They don't however include RadioTimes.com writer Lauren Morris, who took on the MasterChef: The Professionals skills test to mark the new series.
However contestants are only announced just before their episode airs, so here are all the chefs we know so far - including whether or not they're still in the competition.
Confirmed Masterchef: The Professionals 2021 line-up
Nico - Eliminated
Gibraltar-born Nico honed his cooking skills while working as a chef in the British Army, before attending the infamous Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in London. Since graduating in 2016 with a Grand Diplôm he has worked in Heston Blumenthal’s Hinds Head and was head chef at London Stock.
He grew up with a British and Spanish influence on his dishes and now specialises in pastry.
Lauren - Eliminated
Lauren previously worked as a private chef on superyachts, after becoming intrigued by the yacht lifestyle while living in Antibes and applying on a whim while visiting Florida.
She left after seven years to open her own place that would let her share her love of food with the community, and now runs The Deli in Oxted.
Dario - Eliminated
Portugal-born Dario moved to England aged 12, and recalls following his mum, also a chef, around the kitchen when he was young.
He has previously worked for Casa do Frongo and Duck and Waffle - London's highest restaurant - and is now a sous chef at Manchester's 20 Stories restaurant.
Brummie Dan specialises in modern European and Asian cuisine, and has previously worked at Michelin-starred celebrity restaurant Table65 in Singapore.
28-year-old Dan now works as a private chef, and told the BBC: “You can focus more on your own style when you’re a private chef but obviously you miss interacting with other chefs in the kitchen.”
After impressing in both the first heat and the quarter-finals, Dan can be seen next in the semifinals of Masterchef: The Professionals 2021.
Prior to stepping into the Masterchef kitchen John worked at the Haselbury Mill in Somerset, the Burleigh Court Hote in Loughborough and The Eldar Restaurant in Bath.
John is currently working freelance, though is soon to become a sous chef at The Tinamba Hotel in Australia. He is a strong believer in foraging and farm-to-table cooking, and advanced to the quarter-finals of Masterchef: The Professionals after impressing the judges with his signature dish.
Anthony - Eliminated
Anthony currently works at five star London hotel The Goring, which specialises in British food and cocktails. In addition to the five stars, The Goring also boasts a Michelin star and three AA Rosettes - quite the reputation then!
Rhodri - Elimiated
Welshman Rhodri is a sous chef at the Michelin-listed Heathcock Pub in Llandaff, Cardiff.
The Heathcock serves a menu of technically-accomplished pub food and has become one of the most highly regarded restaurants in Cardiff.
Budiono - Eliminated
Budiono hails from Indonesia and has been cooking professionally for over three decades, and is currently the head chef at Aloft Hotels in London.
The 47-year-old made quite the impression on viewers when he served two raw dishes during the second heat!
Charith often champions food that celebrates his Sri Lankan heritage, with his Yellow Curry Cod and Watalappan seeing him through to the quarter-finals.
Eddie - Eliminated
Eddie applied for Masterchef after spending lockdown making handmade pies for delivery in Newcastle and Tyneside, but struggled in the skills test with ideas that proved to be overambitious.
Kirsty - Eliminated
Classically-trained Northampton chef Kirsty works in fine dining at the Narrow Boat at Weedon.
She has described her influences as British fusion food, but sadly left the competition in the first round of her heat.
Jamie was previously head chef at events company Bubble Food in London, but now works for himself.
Bubble Food specialises in luxurious couture food that is visually spectacular.
Winslow-born chef Aaron showed interest in cooking from a young age, getting an apprenticeship under chef Steven Bulmer at Brook Hall Cookery School aged 16.
He then began working under Raymond Blanc and Gary Jones in the two Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons at 17, before moving to London’s The Ledbury under chef Brett Graham.
He was then headhunted for a senior role at Chef Ollie Dabbous’ Hide, before becoming the head chef for none other than Sir Richard Branson at his Necker Island residence in the British Virgin Islands. Quite the career then!