Sunday 16 December 2018

You’ve got to be one of the lads in kitchen, says female MasterChef contestant

Louisa Ellis has made it to the final alongside two male contestants.

MasterChef: The Professionals (BBC/PA)
MasterChef: The Professionals (BBC/PA)

By Catherine Wyatt, Press Association

The last woman standing in MasterChef: The Professionals has said “you’ve just got to be… one of the lads” to fit into the male-dominated cheffing world.

Louisa Ellis spoke as she made it into the final of the cooking competition, alongside Craig Johnston and Steven Lickley.

The 22-year-old told the Press Association: “I’m really proud of being the last woman, there wasn’t a great deal of applicants to the show but hopefully from this more females in the future will apply for it and take more of a risk.”

When asked how she found working in a male-dominated environment, she added: “You’ve just got to fit in and be one of the lads in the kitchen, that’s just how it is.”

The three finalists got through to the last stage of the competition after Jamie Park was sent home in Wednesday’s episode.

Lickley told the Press Association: “It’s something that I’ve never felt before, it’s an incredible feeling of pride and just feeling that you’ve done the best you can, it’s just an amazing feeling.

“It’s hard to describe, it’s hard to put into words.”

In Thursday’s final the chefs have just one challenge: to cook their best possible three-course meal for the judges.

Monica Galetti, Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace will decide who will become the champion based on the starter, main course and dessert they are served.

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Ellis said making the final was “one of the biggest achievements of my career so far”.

She said: “I’m really proud of myself because I’m still young and I’m still learning, and I’ve taken so much away from the experience with me.”

Johnston, also 22, said he was “shocked” to make it through to the final.

He said: “Cooking for the judges is always nerve-racking, you’ve got some amazing chefs eating your food right in front of you.

“It’s always going to be daunting but any feedback is great, even if it’s a negative, you build from that.”

Lickley, 26, agreed, adding: “I want to say you kind of get used to it but you don’t, because each dish is different so you don’t know what they’re going to think when they try it so you are always nervous and on edge.”

MasterChef: The Professionals will air Thursday, 8pm, on BBC Two.

Press Association

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