MasterChef 2022 is here, bringing us a new batch of amateur chefs set to get our mouths watering with their culinary skills.
TV's biggest cookery show is now in its 18th season, but with a formidable famous face joining the team, along with new twists and challenges, this promises to be the best year yet for the series.
Not only will this year's contestants find themselves facing the brand-new Audition Round (more on this later), but there is also a lunch for war veterans and a trip to Ireland to contend with. However, the most terrifying addition to the show has got to be legendary TV chef Gordon Ramsay, who will be giving the cooks a real grilling.
Judge Gregg Wallace told What To Watch that the contestants had no idea Gordon would be joining the show and but that he fitted into the team perfectly: "I think Gordon was concerned how John and I would react to him, but as soon as he realised how celebratory we were of his achievements, he relaxed. He's a bundle of energy."
Here's everything you need to know about MasterChef 2022...
When does MasterChef 2022 air?
MasterChef 2022 started on BBC One on Wednesday, March 23rd at 8pm. The second episode will air on Friday, March 25 at 9pm.
The 18-part series will then air on Wednesday and Friday evenings on BBC One, with all episodes available on BBC iPlayer once they have aired.
The MasterChef 2022 Finals Week kicked off on May 3, and the winner will be crowned on May 5 at 8pm.
Who are the finalists?
Sarah, Ioan, Pookie, Eddie and Radha have all made it to this year's final, but there can only be one winner.
Who are the judges on MasterChef 2022?
"The standard over the years has improved beyond belief," Gregg told us. "Even Thomasina Miers, our first winner, said she didn't think she would make it to the quarter-finals these days. People watching know it is pointless applying unless they can reach the standard of the previous years."
John added: "The quality of food is pretty extraordinary. We see people push themselves hard with desserts, we have some seafood theatre and there are also some stand-out dishes using vegetables as the hero ingredient."
MasterChef 2022 contestants
This year's series will see 45 amateur cooks battling it out in the famous MasterChef kitchen, but season 18 comes with a twist because first, the budding chefs need to get past the Audition Round.
This new challenge sees the cooks whipping up their own signature dish without the glare of John Torode and Greg Wallace watching them. But will the absence of the judges help or hinder the contestants in this round?
John explains more: "For five weeks, nine home cooks arrive with their ingredients and cook us their Signature Dish. The twist is we don't watch them cook, we are served the dish in the new Tasting Room. It means they can concentrate without us getting involved and making them nervous."
Greg adds: "I don't like change so I wasn't sure at first, but I love it. Before we'd watch the contestants work, chat to them and start to form an opinion about them, but the most important thing is what is on the plate. This way we get the pure, unadulterated dish."
Who won MasterChef 2021?
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MasterChef 2021 saw 31-year-old Tom Rhodes beat fellow finalists Mike Tomkins and Alexina Anatole to be crowned champion.
Following his win, Tom said: "Being this year’s MasterChef Champion, after watching and admiring so many past Champions, seems like a dream come true. I’m grateful that I met, got to know and cook alongside some of the most wonderful and talented people, and have found friends for life in them.
"I'll also never forget and can’t be more thankful to all the friendly, hardworking, fantastic people, that make MasterChef such a special show. I feel this is just the start, and I’m excited for what comes next."
Where is MasterChef filmed?
For the last 20 years the show has been filmed in London, however, the BBC recently announced that from 2024 MasterChef will move to a new home in Birmingham after signing a six-year deal.
Speaking of the move Gregg said: "It's a resounding yes from me. I love working with John and will do it as long as they want me."
John added: "A change of scene is great. I'll need to find a new cycle route to work, though — the motorway might be a bit busy on my bike!"
Is there a trailer for MasterChef 2022?
Not yet, but we will update this page when one is released.
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Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia.
After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off.
She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz!
As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.