Young chef Laurence Henry has triumphed in the 2018 series of MasterChef: The Professionals.
At just 26 years old, Henry was the youngest contestant in this year’s final, but stunned judges to see off competition from 47 other professional chefs.
The winner left chefs and critics, including Jay Rayner, speechless with the quality of the dishes he served on the show.
Henry was tasked in his seven weeks on the show with impressing leading lights of modern gastronomy, being flown to France to cook for and alongside Michelin-starred talent.
He said: “Winning the show is a dream come true. It has been the goal from day one and I’m ecstatic I’ve managed to get all the way to the end.
“I had thought about entering the competition for a few years but this year I felt my knowledge, skills and confidence were finally at a level that could see me through. The Chefs’ Table was my most challenging moment of the competition.
“I have always pushed myself and given myself a lot of work to do, but during this challenge I pushed too hard, and almost didn’t make it.”
Nottingham chef Henry saw of stiff competition from finalists Dean Banks and Oli Martin, after an impressive competition. A stunning three-course meal for the show’s judges saw Henry seal his victory.
Famed food critic Rayner, on tasting a lamb dish prepared by Henry, said: “I have absolutely nothing critical to say.
The chef also impressed the judges on the show, with Gregg Wallace saying: “For a chef so young he is an immense talent. He has a hunger for knowledge and he is willing to push himself until he accomplishes greatness.”
Henry intends to keep pushing himself to improve, despite his success through week after week of culinary challenges.
He said: “It has been a really long journey, I have certainly learnt a lot about myself and found my feet.
“With this kind of ending who knows what the future holds; it is just so exciting. Hopefully though this is the first step in the long road to the chef I want to be one day.”