Monica Galetti had admitted she was left incredibly emotional after making the decision to step away from her judging spot on Masterchef: The Professionals.
In April, the chef, 46, decided to step back from the cooking show after 14 years.
She joined the initial line-up of Michel Roux Jr and Gregg Wallace, also appearing from 2014 with Marcus Wareing after Michel left.
But it wasn’t an easy decision to make for the chef, as she has admitted she was ‘in tears’ over stepping down as a judge.
Monica – who runs a restaurant, Mere, located on London’s Charlotte Street – said: ‘I was in tears over it because it’s been 14 years of my life.
‘Something had to give, though.’
She explained in an interview with Good Housekeeping Magazine that she was ‘freaked out’ over the thought of going back to filming due to not having enough staff at her restaurant.
Monica went on to share: ‘I was already going three days a week without seeing my daughter and I had a very ill nephew.
‘I felt like I needed to split into four people. I don’t have a poker face either, so you would have seen on screen how worried and distracted I was.’
She previously opened up on her nephew’s illness, after he was diagnosed with desmoplastic small round cell tumour, and he is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
‘We’re told it’s not a cure. It’s just buying us time,’ she told The Times, adding that doctors have given him three months to live.
The family are hoping to get Otis on a clinical trial, which they are currently fundraising for, and she flew out to see him in New Zealand for a week back in May.
She added: ‘It was so important to be with my older aunties and uncles. It was just so special to be able to do that. And to spend a bit of time with Otis as well.’
The former senior sous-chef at Le Gavroche in London went on to discuss her once-in-a-lifetime royal encounter at a reception in Buckingham Palace, where she brushed shoulders with Her Majesty.
‘It was possibly one of my most nervous moments ever,’ she said. ‘First, I met Charles and Camilla, then I was chosen to be part of a separate line-up to meet Her Majesty.
‘I had a wine glass with me, and thought, “Oh no, I can’t possibly meet The Queen holding a glass of wine,” so I put it down. Then, she walked round the corner with a glass of wine in her hand and I thought, “Oh, dammit!”‘
The popular cooking series made the move from BBC Two to BBC One in 2020 and following the news of Galetti’s step back it was announced Anna Haugh will join the judging panel.
Read Monica’s full interview in the September 2022 issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale the July 27.
MasterChef: The Professionals airs on BBC One.