MasterChef: The Professionals 2020 hits our TV screens tonight, but with a new home.
It’s made the move from its previous channel of BBC Two due to high ratings figures.
Attracting the largest audiences for any cookery show on the channel for three years running, last series saw it hitting the record number of 3.55 million viewers.
Although there is another factor at play. Yep: Covid 19.
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content has said: “MasterChef is one of the channel’s biggest brands and following the impact of Covid on the production of original programming it feels like the time is right to move ‘The Professionals’ to BBC One and find an even wider audience.”
How has the format changed?
Unsurprisingly, the competition will be socially distanced this year.
Monica Galetti has talked about show staff having to keep away from the other stars: “We had Sam (our floor manager) walking around with a two-metre stick to make sure we weren’t standing too close together.”
The most noticeable change will be the way judges taste dishes, with them no longer able to eat from the same plate. On Loose Women, Greg Wallace explained:
“Me, Marcus and Monica used to elbow each other out the way round the plate, now we go up like a buffet and we take a bit out of each plate. The chefs cook then with clean cutlery we take a bit off and then take it away.”
The series format remains largely the same otherwise. Expect 32 contestants battling it out in 18 episodes that air over six weeks.
Two chefs will cook mushroom tortellini in the first week. The other two will have to fillet and cook a fish in 20 minutes. The dish? Marcus Wareing’s butterflied mackeral.
Who are the contestants?
The BBC is yet to reveal the constestants’ identities. However, one chef has announced that he’s taking part via his the website of his restaurant – Nottingham’s Restaurant Six.
Hira Thakur grew up in the Himalayas and his culinary style was learned from his mother, who taught him about spices.
The head chef of Leeds’ Vice and Virtue restaurant has also put out a tweet claiming that he will appear on the show on 17th November.
Looking forward to watching Masterchef the professionals this evening, good luck to the chefs tonight 👊🏻.
— Chef jono (@Chefjono2) November 10, 2020
Other names who are confirmed to appear include the guest judges.
Evening Standard restaurant critic Jimi Famurewa and fellow food writer William Sitwell will appear in the first quarter final. Contestants will serve them a two-course meal that must be prepared in one hour and 15 minutes.
The Guardian’s restaurant critic Grace Dent will appear in the second quarter final, alongside Tom Parker Bowles.
MasterChef: The Professionals 2020 starts tonight (November 10) at 8pm on BBC One.
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