Sheffield chef breaks his silence on MasterChef: The Professionals exit and reveals new plans
A Sheffield dad who proved a big hit on MasterChef: The Professionals before bowing out in the semi-finals has revealed what he plans to do next.
Luke Rhodes narrowly missed out on a place in the finals of the BBC One show after making it through to the last eight and earning some amazing comments from judges and top chefs Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing along the way.
Having set himself the ambitious goal of earning a first Michelin Star by the age of 32, the 26-year-old from Woodhouse has described in more detail how he hopes to achieve that.
He is keen to get back to work soon – provided coronavirus restrictions are eased – at the University of Sheffield’s Halifax Hall hotel, where he is a senior sous chef.
He hopes his success on TV will encourage more people to give it a go and he is keen to introduce some dishes inspired by his run on MasterChef, either on the main menu or at a special tasting evening.
Luke, whose daughter Dolly was born days before he competed in the first heat, is also keen to do some pop-ups at other venues to help get his name out there before taking the leap and either opening his own business or becoming head chef at an established restaurant.
"I’d like to think that when everything returns to normal and we can get back to work at Halifax Hall it will be nice and busy, because it’s a beautiful building set in really nice gardens with a cracking team. Hopefully seeing me on MasterChef people will want to come and taste my food for themselves,” he said.
"I’ll try to get a bit of private dining in on my days off, which could involve pop-ups at other restaurants, to help get my name out there.
“Then we’ll push the boat out and look at opening a little restaurant to get that star or becoming a head chef and getting a star for somewhere that’s already established.”
In the meantime, people can get a taste of his cooking by ordering one of the triple chocolate brownies created by his wife Jess, who is a pastry chef, and being cooked up by the whole family as a Christmas treat available to order for collection.
The brownies were first sold at the sadly short-lived Karnivore BBQ stall at Crystal Peaks market but are available to order now by emailing [email protected]
Luke insists he has no regrets about the competition, having narrowly missed out on a place in the finals to two ‘phenomenal chefs’, and though some viewers claim he got the tougher draw he insists all eight chefs who made it that far deserved to be there and he has ‘no sour feelings’.
"We had a fantastic cook-off and I can’t knock going out to Bart or Alex because they’re phenomenal chefs and really nice blokes,” he said.
"I left on zero negative feedback and feel I’ve done myself proud.
"From when I first started to the last show you can see my confidence build. It’s made me believe in myself a lot more, especially getting those amazing comments from Marcus and Monica.
"It’s been a whirlwind and it’s really humbling that so many people have supported me.”