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MasterChef: The Professionals 2023 - The final four in profile

MasterChef: The Professionals 2023 - The final four in profile
Media Mole previews the four finalists in this year's MasterChef: The Professionals.

From 32 contestants, just four now remain - it's Finals Week on MasterChef: The Professionals!

First up is the prestigious annual Chef's Table event, where they must cook for 24 titans of the industry, before returning to the MasterChef kitchen to complete for a place in the top three. The remaining trio will go on a gastronomic trip to Copenhagen and Rasmus Munk's two Michelin-starred Alchemist, then in the grand final they must produce the best three-course meal of their careers to impress Monica Galetti, Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace and be crowned champion.

Scroll on to read profiles of the MasterChef: The Professionals final four!

Charlie Walters for MasterChef: The Professionals 2023© BBC

Charlie Walters

Age: 22

From: Liskeard, Cornwall

Instagram: @chefcharliewalters_cornwall

Current Role: Head chef at The Sardine Factory in Looe

Experience: Trained at Cornwall College and then went on to work at places such as The Elephant and The Mariners by Paul Ainsworth.

What is your cooking style? "I worked in a Michelin star kitchen for six months and that's where I really started to develop my skills. In terms of my style of food it's hard to tell and I'm still learning. I love dishes that are simple but cooked perfectly. Working in a fish restaurant for the last two years has also really inspired me. Cooking a main ingredient beautifully and then executing the garnish is so important."

Why MasterChef? "I'm really ambitious and have lots of big plans for the future. I'd love my own restaurant as part of a boutique hotel and farm, where everything is grown and cooked on-site. Doing a huge competition like this allows me to test myself against other chefs and hopefully gets me closer to making these big plans a reality."

Tom Hamblet for MasterChef: The Professionals 2023© BBC

Tom Hamblet

Age: 24

From: Horsham, West Sussex

Instagram: @Tom_Hamblet

Current Role: Sous chef at Camellia, a three AA Rosette restaurant within South Lodge Hotel, Horsham, where his dad and mum also work as chefs.

Experience: Studied at Westminster Kingsway College, London. Straight after graduating he was offered a Commis position at The Pass in Horsham, where he stayed for a year before moving to the Michelin-starred restaurants The Latymer at Pennyhill Park in Surrey and Interlude in Horsham.

What is your cooking style? "I think I'm still in the process of discovering my food style as I'm still fairly new to the industry. I've been massively inspired by the award-winning kitchens I've worked in and doing competitions such as RIBI, the Great Britain and Ireland Rotary Club Young Chef Competition and Springboard Future Chef. These competitions push me and my cooking. I love the classics and I also love experimenting with different flavours and trying new things - but it has to be executed perfectly."

Why MasterChef? "I've done quite a few competitions now but this is next level. I think I have a good chance of doing well and making my family proud. I've always loved MasterChef: The Professionals so it's an honour to compete. It's another chance to step out of my comfort zone, and for someone my age I think ambition and being the best version of yourself is important."

Kasae Fraser for MasterChef: The Professionals 2023© BBC

Kasae Fraser

Age: 29

From: Yate, near Bristol, originally from Australia

Instagram: @chef_kasae

Current Role: Head chef at contemporary Japanese restaurant at Robun in Bath

Experience: Started out as a waitress in Melbourne at Mercer's which, at the time, was a one-hat restaurant. Drawn to the buzz of the kitchen, she soon made the leap over and hasn't looked back. She trained classically and has worked in Michelin-starred restaurant Operakallaren Matsalen in Sweden and Gemmayze Street in New Zealand.

What is your cooking style? "Describing my food is really tricky. I think at 29, in an industry that is always moving so fast, it is hard for me to have my own 'style'. If I had to answer, I would say playful, generous, 'diet be damned' and refined. If all of those things can even exist together, that would be what I would describe as my style."

Why MasterChef? "I want to meet like-minded people, other chefs and industry professionals. Sometimes it is so easy to get laser focused on what you're doing that you forget to reach out and talk to your peers and MasterChef: The Professionals is a unique opportunity to do this with such a range of chefs. I want to meet the judges, hear their opinions on everything to do with cooking and restaurants.

"I also hope to invigorate myself by throwing me back into the world of cooking competitions. It is such a great challenge to be in the spotlight and see how you perform under pressure. It's one of the greatest stresses and purest moments of professional pleasure I've experienced at the same time. And of course, I'd love to win. No one enters without the objective of winning. Even if you're not sure it's possible, it's in our nature to want to succeed. Winning is the end goal."

Tommy Thorn for MasterChef: The Professionals 2023© BBC

Tommy Thorn

Age: 27

From: Bristol and Somerset

Instagram: @TommyThorn96

Current Role: Head chef at The Ethicurean in Bristol

Experience: Started his cooking journey at Thornbury Castle and then spent time in Michelin kitchens including Five Fields and The Frog by Adam Handling.

What is your cooking style? "I'm definitely still finding my own style as I believe that takes years. My training under some very talented chefs has a huge influence on how I like to cook, which includes a focus on intricacy and big flavours. My travels in Asia also had a big impact as I like to cook what I enjoy to eat myself."

Why MasterChef? "I've always been a massive fan of the show from the early days of my career. I found it really inspiring and still do. My girlfriend gave me the push I needed to send my application. I feel ready with my skillset and think I could do well, although anything could happen on the day. I just really want to give it my best shot and show my son that you can do anything if you put your mind to it."

The Finals week of MasterChef: The Professionals airs Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 8pm on BBC One.

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