Masterchef Goes Large: Tuesday 17 July

Masterchef Goes Large Weekdays, 5.20pm, from Tuesday 17 July

The search is on for amateur cooks of all ages who have what it takes to become a top restaurant chef. The contestants all want to have their own restaurant – they dream of becoming the next Jamie Oliver. But can they stand the intensity of the professional kitchen?

‘Masterchef Goes Large’, starting weekdays at 5.20pm, sees 96 British would-be chefs whittled down to a mere four in a series of gruelling challenges that test their originality, ingenuity and ability to cook under pressure. The judges – London restaurateur John Torode and fruit and veg expert Gregg Wallace – are on hand to offer hints and tips but, ultimately, to decide who stays and who goes.
Both presenters have a vast knowledge of all things food-related. Australian-born John Torode is a professional chef who runs ‘Smiths of Smithfield’, a four-floor space with several restaurants, ranging from an exclusive private dining room to a funky ground-floor café, located near London’s Smithfield market. He has worked in some of London’s most prestigious restaurants and is credited as being one of the main chefs to introduce Australasian food to Britain in the mid-1990s.

Gregg Wallace is a successful vegetable-grower and keen food historian, who supplies many large restaurants in London with fresh produce from his farm. In 1989, he started ‘George Allan’s Greengrocers’ – a company that built up to an eventual turnover of £7.5 million – which led to him being asked to front the Radio 4 show ‘Veg Talk’.

Once the pressure-filled heats of the show are completed, the final stages get set to crank up the chefs’ stress levels even further. Will the remaining contestants be able to cope with cooking backstage for millionaire music stars, making lunch for 600 marines on a battleship at sea, or working in a Michelin-starred restaurant? Could flair and natural talent be enough to win? Or will it be one contestant’s precision, attention to detail and leadership skills that allows them to claim the ultimate prize and be crowned Britain’s Masterchef?

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