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This year will mark the tenth anniversary of the much-loved BBC show MasterChef returning to our TV screens in its re-structured format, complete with current judges John Torode and Greg Wallace.  The television cookery contest initially launched in 1990 with the inimitable Lloyd Grossman as its presenter, and later had a brief spell (just one series) presented by Gary Rhodes before taking a hiatus.


The show came back stronger than ever in 2005, when Wahaca founder Thomasina Miers took the title and it has since gone on to propel many more cooking enthusiasts into catering careers they’d previously only dreamt of. To revisit the previous winners of MasterChef for every year since its launch would probably require a TV series all of its own, so today we’re asking: what has happened to the MasterChef winners from the past five years?  

2015 - Simon Wood The latest winner of MasterChef, former data controller Simon Wood of Manchester, has been very busy since his win. He’s fitted in training at Marcus Wareing restaurants and with Theo Randell, plus a spell at Simon Rimmer’s Greens Vegetarian restaurant too. That’s all before taking up a post as Executive Chef at Oldham Athletic.  


Huge congratulations to Simon Wood, UK champion of #MasterChef 2015, who has dreamed of being a chef since he was eight.

A photo posted by MasterChef World (@masterchefworld) on

Along with creating a changing seasonal menu at the ground he has been hosting special dining with Simon Wood events and according to his website, he’s also dabbling in private dining too!  

2014 - Ping Coombes  

MasterChef’s 2014 winner Ping Coombes wowed Greg and John with her meticulously crafted Malaysian dishes. Along with her book Malaysia: Recipes from a Family Kitchen, which is due out this May, Ping has been kept busy with plenty of other food writing as well as hosting supper clubs, pop-up events and taking her Street Food business Chairman Ping Bao to lots of foodie festivals. She’s also managed to fit in TV work, most recently appearing alongside John Torodes on Good Food TV.

2013 - Natalie Coleman

East End girl Natalie Coleman left her life as a credit controller and tech DJ behind when she found fame on the show. Since winning the 2013 series she has worked with big names including Marcus Wareing, Tom Kerridge and Michel Roux Jr, and also regularly featured on Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube.  


That's a lot of books to sign.... Hehe

A photo posted by natalie coleman (@nataliecolemanchef) on

On top of that, Natalie has published a cookbook, ‘Winning Recipes for Everyday’ and also devotes lots of time to educating the next generation of cooks - she has worked with new chefs at Jamie’s 15 restaurant and Borough Market, and is a patron of the Free Cake Hackney Kids scheme. But that’s not all - Natalie also runs cookery courses at Central Street Cookery School in the holidays as well as doing demos with the School Food Trust. She’s one busy lady!

2012 - Shelina Permalloo

Former project manager Shelina has had plenty of food projects to manage since she cooked her way to the title. She’s been the guest chef at many top restaurants and offers her own private dining service when she’s not busy with TV appearances, working with brands and magazines or penning her own cook books, of course.  


Spiced up fish'n'chips. Wanna see me cook again?Thumbs up & comment please ???? @JamiesFoodTube https://t.co/RaNint9YP0 A photo posted by Shelina Permalloo (@shelinacooks) on

Along with features on Lorraine and the Food Network, Shelina’s Mauritian cookery has taken centre stage in her two published books – Sunshine on a Plate and the Sunshine Diet. And Shelina clearly credits MasterChef with giving her culinary career that initial push, stating on her website: “It’s true what they say – ‘winning MasterChef can change your life’

2011 - Tim Anderson  


Nanban #graffiti #chillichillibangbang #yolo A photo posted by Tim Anderson (@cheftimanderson) on

Back in 2011 Tim Anderson was the youngest ever MasterChef winner at the age of 26, which means he has perhaps had more time than most to explore his culinary calling. Since his victory he’s experimented with his love of food and drink by working as a freelance writer and chef, staging pop up restaurants and even working with beer brand Brewdog on an exclusive range of drinks. His restaurant Nanban opened in Brixton in October of last year following a spell popping up across the capital and the publishing of Nanban: Japanese Soul Food in April 2015. The menu features lots of craft beers as well as fried Japanese delights.

2010 Dhruv Baker

Born in Mexico and raised in India, Dhruv was undoubtedly exposed at a young age to some incredible culinary influences. Five years on from his MasterChef win he is co-owner of a catering company, Earlsfield Kitchen, and The Jolly Gardeners pub in London.  


A photo posted by Sonya Parra (@sonyaparra) on

He also somehow fitted in the publication of his first recipe book, Spice back in 2014. Dhruv has turned his hand to food writing for magazines and has made regular appearances at the BBC Good Food Shows and worked in front of the camera with Waitrose TV along with several other brand ambassador roles.

Are you a MasterChef fan? Who is your favourite winner from the show? Are you a devotee of the Professionals edition of the show too? Leave us a comment below - and if you're a fan of Michel Roux Sr, who has made guest appearances on the show, take a look at our stunning collection of Creme tableware which he has specially selected for use in his fabulous restaurants.


Lockhart Catering on 26 January 2016 1:06 AM

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