This year, Luke Phillips takes on Masterchef: The Professionals, cooking and competing through a variety of heats, quarter finals and knockouts until the ultimate winner is crowned. Greg Wallace, Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti judge the dishes being served – with all the action, tantrums, successes and burning disasters caught on camera. The winner goes away with a trophy and the prestige of being The Professional Masterchef of the series.
Luke started working as a chef when he was 16 years old straight after school in his local Chinese restaurant. From there he knew he wanted to be a chef and challenged himself to see how far he would get in culinary world. Getting onto the best cooking course in England at the time, ‘The Specialised Chefs Scholarship’ which is a three year course, training 3 months a year at college and the remaining on placement, for Luke this was The Chewton Glen hotel. He quickly contributed within the hotel and the rankings were building by the day. Luke decided to leave here to explore many other restaurant and also taking part in a ski season in Austria as Head Chef but would always come back to Chewton for the Hotel.
We spoke to Chef Luke to find out more about his experience on the BBC2 show…
What was the reason in taking part on Masterchef?
I got to a stage in my life that I wanted to push myself and see how far I could take my culinary skills and food, thats why I entered Masterchef: The Professionals.
Is there a way to handle the criticism from the judges?
Through constant working, day in and day out in the kitchen, you learn how to take criticism. Im used to the judges and I make sure to take everything on board, the good and the bad to make sure to push myself further through the competition.
What is the atmosphere like in the kitchen cooking alongside other chefs?
The atmosphere cooking infant of the other chefs is hardcore. They are all great chefs and bring a lot to the table, the way I looked at it is that I am the only one at the competition, so it really didn’t effect me as bad as it could others.
What is your approach to the imagination & creation of your dishes?
Making my own dishes is extremely hard and a lot of pressure, you have to take everything you’ve learnt in the past and bring it all together to create an outstanding plate of food.
What is your cooking style and what can people expect from the food on your menu?
My cooking style is classic French, English with an Asian fusion.
What was your greatest accomplishment during your time on Masterchef so far?
My greatest accomplishment on Masterchef so far is meeting all the Masterchef team, the judges and the other chefs, its not everyday you get to do something like this, so I soaked up every second.
Were there any down sides during your time on Masterchef?
The downsides would be having a full time job on top of doing the competition is the most stressful thing I have ever done. I feel like I haven’t slept for 2 months!
Would there be anything you would change?
There wouldn’t be anything I would change.