In two programmes, eight of the most memorable chefs from past series (four in each episode) return to compete in festive-themed, MasterChef: The Professionals Specials.
In one programme we see the following finalists step back into the MasterChef kitchen: Steve Barringer (finalist 2011), Exose Grant Lopo-Ndiga (finalist 2019), Oli Martin (finalist 2018) and Olivia Burt (finalist 2019).
While competing in the other special are: Danny Parker (finalist 2014), Louisa Ellis (finalist 2017), Marianne Lumb (finalist 2009) and William Chilila (semi-finalist 2018).
Like all great MasterChef: The Professionals competitions, Monica and Marcus start by setting a Skills Test and demonstrate what they’d do if faced with the challenge themselves. From a bench full of festive ingredients in the first episode Monica sets her group of chefs the challenge of making Festive Canapés while Marcus asks the chefs to come up with a dish inspired by Christmas Leftovers.
For the competing chefs it’s a chance to relive the much-feared Skills Test, and they catch up with judges on how their careers have progressed since taking part in the competition as well as showing off their skill, flair and imagination using the seasonal ingredients.
Then the chefs must face the challenge of impressing the judges with a seasonally themed two-course menu in two-and-half hours.
Showing their culinary personality to the full, the dishes need to have technical skill, creativity, flair and, most importantly, they need to be delicious enough to wow the judges into crowning them the Best Chef.