Knives and forks at the ready, MasterChef is back. The popular BBC cooking contest returns for its 16th series and will see a number of amateur cooks from around the UK battle it out across the stoves once again, for the chance to take home the MasterChef trophy.
Airing over the next two months, the new series features some of the show’s tried and tested challenges, with a few surprising new ones as well.
Here’s what you need to know.
When is MasterChef on TV?
The 16th series of MasterChef began on Monday 24th February.
Thereafter, over five weeks of heats, it will continue on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9pm on BBC One, with 12 contestants taking part each week.
This year, the initial stages sees the cooks face two new culinary tests: one centred around a signature dish and the other, a plate with very specific ingredients.
Knockout weeks, the semi finals and finals week will follow on from the heats.
Who are the contestants on MasterChef?
All we know at this stage is that a total of 60 contestants will compete over the course of the series.
They join from a range of fields, include cattle farming, hairdressing, music and architecture.
Who are the judges on MasterChef?
John Torode and Gregg Wallace are the judges on MasterChef and have co-hosted the show together since 2005.
Torode is a chef, known for his eponymous TV cooking shows, including John Torode’s Australia and John Torode’s Malaysian Adventure.
Wallace is a former greengrocer who has worked with the BBC for a number of years. He was the inaugural presenter of Saturday Kitchen in 2002, a contestant in the twelfth series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, and co-presents Eat Well for Less? – the most recent series of which finished in January 2020.
Who are the critics on MasterChef?
The quarter finals see some of Britain’s most revered food critics try out some of the contestants’ dishes.
Each invents a task for six of the cooks to take on; a challenge they have just 90 minutes to complete.
The critics lending their taste buds to the show this season, in order of appearance, are: Jay Rayner, Grace Dent, William Sitwell, Tom Parker Bowles and Jimi Famurewa.
How long does MasterChef run for?
MasterChef consists of 24 episodes which are screened over eight weeks, starting from Monday 24th February.
When is the MasterChef 2020 final?
The MasterChef 2020 final is scheduled for eight weeks after the start date.
Who won MasterChef last year?
The winner of MasterChef 2019 was Irini Tzortzoglou, a former banker who impressed judges Torode and Wallace with her Mediterranean flavours.
Her winning menu – inspired by her childhood in Crete, Greece – consisted of red mullet and squid risotto to start, griddled lamp chops with trahanas puree for the main, and a fig and hazelnut baklava for pudding.
MasterChef airs at 9pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays