Sheffield chef to star in BBC’s MasterChef: The Professionals – and it starts this week

First, this Sheffield man welcomed the birth of his first child. Four days later, he got accepted as one of the contestants for the biggest cooking show in the UK.

By Rahmah Ghazali
Monday, 9th November 2020, 8:34 am

Luke Rhodes, 26, of Woodhouse couldn't believe it when he got the phone call last July saying that he would be part of MasterChef: The Professionals as he did not remember signing up for the show.

"It was my wife, Jessica who signed me up...I had no recollection of it until I heard from the Masterchef team. I was grateful for my wife.

"I don't think I will have quite the confidence to do it if I do it myself. I was like, I've got to do it now because there's no way I can't do it," he said.

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Luke Rhodes from Sheffield has been picked as one the MasterChef: The Professionals 2020 contestants. Picture by Plank PR.

Luke, who is a senior sous chef at the University of Sheffield, said it was "overwhelming" to him especially with the new baby in the picture.

"My wife has been my biggest motivation. She said I have got to do it since it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said.

Luke also recalled the first time he walked into the MasterChef kitchen and presented his food in front of the judges, Gregg Wallace, former head chef of Le Gavroche Monica Galetti and Great British Menu winner Marcus Wareing.

"It's super daunting. It's larger than life. You always see it on TV and you'd think it can't be that bad.

The judges for MasterChef: The Professionals 2020.

"But when you meet the judges, you get nervous but excited at the same time. Gregg is like a MasterChef icon and Monica and Marcus have been the chefs I looked up to when I started my career.

"Having the opportunity to cook for them is massive and amazing," he said.

However, he did feel the pressure to perform well on the show as "not many from Sheffield" have made it that far.

"I watched Masterchef for many years and I don't really hear anybody from Sheffield went on it.

"So to be that one person from Sheffield in Masterchef Kitchen is like double pressure because you don't want to mess it all up. You've got to train," he laughed.

You can catch Luke in action on MasterChef: The Professionals as it is back on BBC One with its 13 series on Tuesday, November 10 at 9pm.