MasterChef: The Professionals winner Dan Lee has expressed the ‘heartbreak’ he feels over witnessing restaurants struggling to cope amid rising Covid-19 cases, emphasising that ‘public safety comes first’.
This week, the UK recorded several days of the highest number of new daily positive cases of coronavirus amid the continued spread of the new variant Omicron.
While there is currently a lot of uncertainty about the new strain and how severe it may be, it’s been claimed that a ‘two-week circuit breaker lockdown’ is being considered for after Christmas, which would likely mean that pubs and restaurants would only be able to serve customers outdoors.
Following his win on MasterChef: The Professionals, Dan spoke to Metro.co.uk about his time in the competition and his hopes for the future of his career, touching upon how restaurants may be impacted in the coming weeks with the latest Covid updates.
Stating that ‘the hospitality industry has been really hit hard with the new variant’, the chef from Birmingham recalled his personal experiences in lockdown in 2020, when he had to find new means of work.
‘I can’t speak on behalf of the hospitality industry but from my own experience, as you saw in MasterChef, I talked about how during the first lockdown I couldn’t work at all,’ he said.
‘I went to work in a supermarket, which I don’t regret at all and then as a private chef. I’ve been quite lucky because I was able to keep working, but so many people are struggling again.’
Dan shared his concern for friends of his who have their own restaurants, who may find times becoming more difficult in the near future.
‘Of course public safety comes first but it’s heartbreaking to see my friends who run restaurants struggling so much again, especially at Christmas which is the busiest time of the year, and just when it felt like we were getting back on track,’ he said.
In the MasterChef: The Professionals final, Dan went up against fellow finalists Liam Rogers and Aaron Middleton, impressing judges Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace with his culinary prowess.
One of his main aspirations is to one day open a street food truck, explaining why he feels it is important for street food to be accessible and affordable for all.
‘Good food can be accessible to everyone, you don’t need to pay so much money for it. When we’re focusing on street food, I think that street food culture’s building up in the UK, it’s becoming something so much more, but at the same time, it’s also getting a bit pricey,’ he said.
‘It’s on the side of the road, it’s for everyone. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, what background you’re from, that’s just what street food is. It’s food for everyone, and I want to push that message across here.’
MasterChef: The Professionals is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
Credit: Original article published here.