MasterChef crowns 2024 winner in ‘best final’ in 20 years

‘Twenty years we’ve been doing MasterChef. That is the best final we’ve ever done’ said Judge Torode

Maira Butt
Thursday 23 May 2024 08:17 BST
Masterchef Crowns 2024 Winner

MasterChef 2024 has crowned its winner in a close final on Wednesday (22 May).

The popular BBC cooking series, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, sees members of the public go through a series of culinary challenges to win the coveted trophy.

After a competitive series, with controversy surrounding some challenges, the Final Three included veterinary surgeon Brin Pirathapan, 29, farmer Louise Lyons Macleod, 44, and circus performer Chris Willoughby, 44.

Shortly before announcing the winner, judge John Torode told the finalists: “Twenty years we’ve been doing MasterChef. That is the best final we’ve ever done.”

As Macleod looked up with tears in her eyes and Willoughby looked downcast, the judges announced that Pirathapan had won the series.

“No way,” the vet said in disbelief, as his fellow contestants rushed to hug him.

Pirathapan beat his fellow finalists at French fine dining venue Le Gavroche, which closed down earlier this year.

His winning meal included octopus and venison.

Pirathapan said: “I’m absolutely chuffed to bits. I can’t breathe. I’m a big mix of my background, my culture and all the opportunities my parents have given me.

(BBC/ShineTV/PA Wire)

“They’ve been incredible and I’ve done it for them as much as I’ve done it for myself. The experience itself has been incredible and to top it off with this is just the most amazing thing, ever.”

He was awarded the trophy by Torode and fellow judge Gregg Wallace after cooking fried capers, pickled chilli, pickled and charred shallots, orange and honey-glazed octopus with thinly-battered tempura mussels, herb baked wafers called tuiles dusted with an orange scallop roe, and an orange gel and sea plant samphire on a romesco tomato-based sauce for his starter.

(Masterchef/PA Wire)

Pirathapan was guided by Le Gavroche owner and former MasterChef: The Professionals judge Michel Roux Jr and served chefs including Pierre Koffmann, MasterChef: The Professionals judge Monica Galetti and Emily Roux, who had worked at the restaurant.

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His main course was spiced venison loin, beef short-rib and pickled mushroom tartlet, celeriac and soybeans paste miso puree, salt-baked beetroot and pak choi, served with red chilli paste called gochujang and red wine sauce, split with a herb oil.

His dessert was a white chocolate and cardamom and saffron cremeux, with pistachio meringue shards, whisky-poached mango, raspberry gel, pistachio crumb and a mango, lime and chilli sorbet.

“Probably the best master chef series of all time. The standard of cooking was sublime . All finalists worthy of being crowned champion. I would have paid to eat all their food,” wrote one fan on X/Twitter.

“A fantastic winner. Called it from his first dish. And comes across as a lovely fella. Well done Brin.” wrote another.

Pirathapan’s parents are from Sri Lanka, which he says has given him an “amazing spicy culinary background”.

“The areas of cooking I love are truly an amalgamation of my Tamil Sri Lankan heritage and my British upbringing,” he added.

“I have a passion for creating dishes with bold flavours but refining them to high standards with European techniques. I like to pull flavour combinations from all over the world and create balanced dishes.”

Waking up every morning knowing that I’m doing something I absolutely love would be a great feeling ... Longer term, I’d love food to take me all over the world

MasterChef winner Brin Pirathapan

He said it had been “absolutely nerve-wracking” waiting for Torode and Wallace’s feedback, and added that he would like a “future in the food industry”.

“Waking up every morning knowing that I’m doing something I absolutely love would be a great feeling. It would be incredible to write a cookbook and, explore supper clubs or private dining. Longer term, I’d love food to take me all over the world,” he said.

Wallace said: “These are ingredient combinations that Brin is inventing. That makes him dangerously clever. He’s got technique, he’s got creativity. In my experience, Brin is unique. One of the cleverest talents I’ve ever, ever seen.”

Additional reporting by PA.

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