MasterChef: The Professionals - start date, who’s in it, what’s new and everything you need to know

Monica Galetti, Gregg Wallace and Marcus Wareing MasterChef: The Professionals
(Image credit: BBC/Shine TV)

Monica Galetti, Gregg Wallace and Marcus Wareing return for a new run of MasterChef: The Professionals

MasterChef:The Professionals - TV’s toughest cooking contest - is coming tonight [Tuesday 10th November] for its 13th series as more chefs try to prove that they’re the best in the business.

Here’s everything we know about MasterChef:The Professionals

MasterChef:The Professionals start date

The 18-part series, airing over six weeks, begins on Tuesday 10th November at 9pm and continues on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12. It has moved from BBC2 and is now airing on BBC1. Each episode will be available to watch shortly after broadcast on iPlayer.

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Who’s in it?

Gregg Wallace is back to judge the contestants’ efforts, along with top chefs Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing. This time around, 32 talented chefs from restaurants, hotels and other catering establishments around the country will be showing off their culinary flair. The series begins with the heats, in which four contestants take part in each episode, tackling a tough Skills Test and then preparing a two-course meal. Only two chefs from each heat go through to the next round.

“We have a brilliant selection of chefs this year and a lot of unusual and exciting dishes too," says Marcus.

Contestant Philli in MasterChef: The Professionals

Contestant Philli feels the heat in the MasterChef: The Professionals kitchen (Image credit: BBC/Shine TV)

What’s new?

The series was filmed during lockdown so several changes had to be made to ensure social distancing.

"We filmed the entire series in the studio because it was too much of a risk to take the crew, ourselves and the chefs out. But it actually worked out better because instead of sending our contestants to restaurants, we had chefs coming in,” reveals Monica. “Marcus and I could actually see what they were learning and going through. There were a lot of positives. We also got our own separate plates when tasting, which meant Gregg  didn’t eat everything!”

“The production team really thought out everything. With fewer chefs coming through the competition we have slightly longer challenges and actually spend more time with them,” adds Marcus. “For example, the Signature Dish round has two dishes rather than one, and it works well.”

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Is there a trailer for the new series of MasterChef: The Professionals?

Yes, there's a trailer. And it declares that in these extraordinary times the show is looking for extraordinary chefs!

What else do we know?

Monica would never want to take part in contest herself!

“I wouldn’t do it. Ever! They’re very brave to enter MasterChef. There’s so much stress and pressure,” she says. “As judges we try to be firm but fair. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate how much these chefs put into it and how much it means to them.”

Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.