Steven Edwards has been crowned MasterChef Professional Champion after a heated final show tonight.
The 27-year-old head chef is the seventh winner to take the coveted title after judges Michel Roux Jr, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace chose him as the culinary victor.
Speaking on his win, Edwards said: “It feels so surreal; I don’t know what to say, apart from thank you!
"I’m exceptionally happy, I can’t believe it, this is what dreams are made of isn’t it! I don’t know how to describe how I’m feeling, it means so much. These kinds of things don’t seem to happen to me, it just feels unbelievable.”
Double Michelin-starred chef Michel praised Edwards for expressing himself "to the full" throughout.
"His food is lovely. He makes food that is great to eat, expertly cooked, presented with certain elegance, clean lines…and it works. Fault free.”
On the final challenge, Michel's right-hand woman Monica added: “Steven showed he deserves to be here, he’s cooked faultlessly. It was simplicity done to perfection.”
“From my perspective, one of a customer, I think these three are super, super talented. I’m really impressed," said Gregg, who has been a solid fan of anything pudding-related throughout the six weeks of the show.
The highlight of this year's series arguably came in the semi-final, when the chefs visited Italy to the world’s number three restaurant, Osteria Francescana, to cook with Massimo Bottura.
The final task, however, was to prepare a three-course meal for the judges.
Steve’s winning menu consisted of a starter of Anjou pigeon breast with roasted baby beetroot, caramelised feta dice, apple compote, watercress and a beetroot vinaigrette and a main of pan-fried stone bass on a bed of tomato and parmesan orzo, with pureed poached and blackened Kohlrabi and a lime foam.
Dessert was honey cake topped with honeycomb, with poached peaches, peach compote, roast peach puree, yoghurt Espuma, a pistachio crumb and thyme syrup.
Edwards is currently working at The Camellia at South Lodge Hotel. His dream is to own his own restaurant within the next ten years, but after winning MasterChef: The Professionals, this will likely be realised far sooner.
"I will be continuing to push forward with this and also with developing my own style of food," he said.