Former WestKing Apprentice Tom Hamblet Wins Masterchef: The Professionals - CCCG
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Former WestKing Apprentice Tom Hamblet Wins Masterchef: The Professionals

Following a gruelling competition, Tom Hamblet, a former WestKing Hospitality and Culinary Arts Apprentice was crowned winner of MasterChef: The Professionals.

A former WestKing Hospitality and Culinary Arts Apprentice has been crowned MasterChef: The Professionals Champion 2023. Tom is the 17th chef to win the trophy, following in the footsteps of fellow WestKing alumni Nikita Pathakji and Alex Webb, both of whom won Masterchef competitions in previous years. 

Former WestKing Apprentice Tom Hamblet Wins Masterchef: The Professionals
Tom Hamblet (Image: BBC/Shine TV)

Tom began his Apprenticeship at Westminster Kingsway College when he was 17. After completing his studies, he went on to work at Michelin-starred and AA Rosette-winning restaurants. Currently, he works as Sous Chef alongside his chef parents at Camellia, a three AA Rosette restaurant in South Lodge Hotel, Horsham.

During the MasterChef competition, Tom surpassed 31 other professionals in a gruelling seven-week competition where he took on a series of demanding culinary tasks. His culinary creations impressed judges, restaurant critics and leading chefs. During the quarter-final, columnist and critic Grace Dent said: “That is the best dessert I’ve had on MasterChef in all the years I’ve been here.”

During the final week, Tom cooked a four-course meal in front of 24 specially selected diners who held 22 Michelin stars between them at the Midland Grand Dining Room in King’s Cross. As the contestants were whittled down to a final three, they travelled to Copenhagen to learn alongside Head Chef Rasmus Munk, mastering and delivering complex dishes that formed an incredible 50-course tasting menu.

In the final leg of the competition, the three remaining chefs served three courses to MasterChef judges Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace. They had just three hours to prepare a starter, main course and dessert. Tom demonstrated his technical skill, creativity, and unique talent and impressed the judges with his winning menu. He served an original and superbly executed menu which included poached native lobster tail, seared beef fillet and an olive oil sponge cake.

Marcus Wareing, the Michelin-star chef and judge, said: “From the minute that young chef stepped into this kitchen he’s been consistent and he’s delivered at every single level. Tom’s food today was technical, it was beautiful and most importantly, it was delicious.”

Masterchef presenter Gregg Wallace said: “Tom is a talent. I think today, we watched a very young chef come of age. Someone who’s always had the technical ability, but today was brave enough to put his own stamp on the classical.”

After winning the trophy, 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.”

Following his MasterChef victory, Tom continues to aim high. He 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. 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!”

Congratulations Tom on winning the prestigious title of MasterChef: The Professionals Champion 2023!

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