Santosh Shah was crowned winner of BBC’s MasterChef: The Professionals Rematch special in scenes that aired tonight after he lost out on the title in 2020.
The 34-year-old chef, who was dubbed the ‘people’s champion’ in last year’s series, wowed judges Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace with his Nepalese cuisine.
The new show welcomed former chefs, who appeared on the programme prior, to compete for the Professionals crown.
Santosh stepped back into the kitchen along with fellow finalists Philli Armitage-Mattin and Bart van der Lee, who appeared on last year’s series, and Jamie Park, who reached the final in 2017.
Reacting to his win Santosh said: ‘I was so delighted to be invited back into the MasterChef kitchen to cook again, and had so much fun being reunited with Bart, Philli and Jamie from the 2017 series.
‘And to go home with the trophy was the cherry on the top – a moment I’ll never forget! I am so proud to be able to showcase Nepalese cuisine and continue my mission to put Nepalese food firmly on the map!’
Santosh’s winning vegan dish was inspired by the Dashain festival, and included curried jackfruit steak, green banana curry, rice crackers, onion salad, tempered grapefruit, sesame and chilli pickle, red yam, aubergine, spiced potato and pointed gourd.
New Zealand chef, Monica enthused: ‘Since being on the show Santosh has been back to Nepal to truly discover the heart and the food and he brought that with him today.’
Broadcaster Gregg added: ‘I don’t know how Santosh creates the flavour sensations he does but his food is fantastic. It is just really wonderful food.’
Alex Webb was declared last year’s Masterchef: The Professional’s winner and was the fourteenth person ever to take home the honour, after six intense weeks in which he fought off 31 other professionals.
MasterChef: The Professionals Rematch is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.