Monica Galetti has been a judge on Masterchef: The Professionals for 10 years now, but has been cooking in top restaurants for much, much longer.
The Samoan-born New Zealand chef has developed a bit of a reputation as tough-to-please judge ‘Scary Monica’ on the elite cooking competition, which has probably come from 15 years working under Michael Roux Jr in one of London’s most well respected restaurants.
Here’s everything you need to know about her time with Roux Jr – and her own ventures as a restaurant owner…
What restaurants has Monica Galetti worked at?
Galetti previously worked at New Zealand restaurant Timothy’s, before moving to London to work with previous MasterChef: The Professionals judge Michael Roux Jr in 1999. Beginning as first commis at Roux Jr’s two-Michelin-star restaurant La Gavroche, Monica soon worked her way up, becoming the first woman to hold the senior position of sous chef.
During this time she launched Le Gavroche des Tropiques in Mauritius, where she was head chef.
Galetti joined Roux Jr in becoming a MasterChef: The Professional judge in 2009. Other TV work has included Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby with Giles Coren.
What restaurant does Monica Galetti own now?
In 2017 Monica opened the restaurant Mere with her husband and La Govreche sommelier David Galetti, serving traditional, simple food inspired by their South Pacific and French backgrounds. The name Mere has a personal double meaning for the couple, being both the French translation for mother as well as the Samoan word for Mary, also the name of Monica’s own mother.
The two-floor restaurant is decorated using Samoan cloths and artwork and is located on Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia, London.