Tom Hamblet, Sous Chef at South Lodge Hotel, has been crowned MasterChef: The Professionals 2023 winner

The Staff Canteen

Tom Hamblet, 24, Sous Chef at South Lodge Hotel has been crowned MasterChef: The Professionals 2023 champion, the 16th winner of the BBC One televised competition.

Tom Hamblet took on 31 other professionals all striving to make it to the end of seven weeks of increasingly demanding culinary challenges.

Reacting to his win, Tom said: "I’m lost for words. It’s been such a good experience. I’ve done it! The trophy’s here. I’m holding it! I couldn’t be happier right now. I’m just going to enjoy the moment."

As the 17th chef to claim the coveted trophy, Tom takes his place in MasterChef history alongside other exceptional champions: Derek Johnstone; Steve Groves; Claire Lara; Ash Mair, joint winners Keri Moss and Anton Piotrowski; Steven Edwards; Jamie Scott; Mark Stinchcombe; Gary Maclean; Craig Johnston; Laurence Henry; Stu Deeley, Alex Webb, Dan Lee and last year’s winner, Nikita Pathakji.

Along the way, Tom delivered some outstanding plates of food, impressing not only judges, Monica Galetti, Marcus Wareing, and Gregg Wallace, but also the restaurant critics and some of the country’s leading chefs.

Tom Hamblet MasterChef: The Professionals 2023 Winner

MasterChef: The Professionals 2023 Finals

In an intense Final Week, Tom was up against ambitious and talented chefs: Charlie Walters (22 at the time of filming, now 23), who left on Wednesday; Kasae Fraser (29); and Tommy Thorn (27) who both also competed in the Grand Final.

The Final Three embarked on the trip of a lifetime to the boundary-pushing two Michelin-starred Alchemist in Copenhagen, Denmark, as Head Chef Rasmus Munk led them into an immersive, breath-taking world where science, art and food collide.

The chefs had just hours to master extraordinarily creative dishes as part of an epic 50-course tasting menu and deliver to a whole new level.

In three hours, they needed to bring together a starter, a main and a dessert of their own creation, surpassing all the culinary ability, technique and knowledge they had demonstrated so far and impress enough to be the last chef standing.

MasterChef: The Professionals 2023 Judges, winner Tom Hamblet and finalists

What was Tom Hamblet's winning menu?

Tom’s winning menu started with a poached native lobster tail with blanched red and yellow cherry tomatoes, filled with lobster claw meat in a lobster and chilli oil, topped with a lemon verbena gel, courgette balls and a creamy lobster and tomato sauce Américaine.

Tom's main dish was seared beef fillet on a bed of pan-fried oyster mushrooms, served with braised beef cheek wrapped in brick pastry, topped with a poached oyster, a lovage emulsion, salsify, beef and red wine sauce and a beef and oyster tartare.

Tom's dessert served an olive oil sponge filled with an olive oil jam, topped with a set lemon curd, crème fraiche cream, fennel tops and a fennel pollen tuille, served with a fennel seed ice cream.

MasterChef: The Professionals 2023 Winner Tom Hamblet

Who is Tom Hamblet MasterChef: The Professionals 2023 Winner?

Tom Hamblet is classically trained and went into an apprenticeship at 17 with Westminster Kingsway College, London.

Since then, for the past seven years he has worked at both Michelin-starred and AA Rosette-winning restaurants.

He is currently Sous Chef at Camellia, a three AA Rosette restaurant within South Lodge Hotel, Horsham. His parents, with whom he lives, are also chefs within the same hotel.

Looking to the future, Tom said: "I'm still at South Lodge, working hard to deliver high standards. I'm still young, so feel like I'm working out my ambitions every day. I want to have a successful career and that means continuing to learn and progress."

Tom added: "I’d love to aim for my own Michelin-starred restaurant and maybe do more TV. I’m keen to take on projects that allow me to become a better chef and person so hopefully there are more exciting things coming!"

Applications for MasterChef: The Professionals 2024 are now open here!

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th December 2023

Tom Hamblet, Sous Chef at South Lodge Hotel, has been crowned MasterChef: The Professionals 2023 winner