Three finalists took part in the high-pressured final of MasterChef 2023 on Thursday night, but only one took home the prestigious trophy from the hit BBC One cooking show: Chariya Khattiyot.
Following eight weeks of fierce competition against another 44 contestants, Ms Khattiyot, 40 and originally from Thailand, reacted to her victory with disbelief and said it meant “everything to me”.
The final saw Ms Khattiyot, who lives in Basingstoke and who before being crowned MasterChef was a master coffee roaster, beat the talented Anurag Aggarwal, 41, and Omar Foster, 31, as they strove to put together their best three-course meal.
What did the newly crowned MasterChef say about her victory?
The 19th winner of the prestigious MasterChef competition reacted to her success on Thursday saying it was “unbelievable”.
She went on: “It means the world, the sun, the moon and everything to me. I don’t think anything can top this.
“I’m so happy! This just proves that if you dream something and you work really hard and you never give up, you can get it. That’s what my grandad said to me – never give up. He would be so proud of me!”
What did the judges say?
The judges were moved to tears as they handed the trophy to Ms Khattiyot.
MasterChef judge, John Torode, hailed the winner as a “proper master” as he said: “Chariya’s food has always been honest and from the heart. It’s always exciting, it’s always unusual, and it’s always been beautiful and addictive.”
MasterChef judge, Gregg Wallace, said: “Chariya is outstanding and one of the best MasterChef contestants I can remember. Chariya has delighted and amazed me in equal measure.”
The judge also praised her artistic skills as he described some of her dishes as “absolutely beautiful”.
What did the winning meal look like?
The starter, which Mr Wallace described as a “delicate little morsel packing a very big punch”, was a Thai Lotus Tuille, filled with coconut jelly, fried king prawns, pomelo fruit salad, blended with honey, palm sugar and coconut.
A traditional Northern Thai “Khantoke” sharing platter was served as a main course, consisting of wagyu sirloin steak in Hung Lay curry sauce, minced lamb in a spicy tomato and shrimp paste, jackfruit and scallop salad along with sticky rice and scallop crisp crackers.
Ms Khattiyot’s choice for dessert was her own spin on Strawberries and Cream. It saw the magnificent arrangement of strawberry jelly and vanilla cremeux ring, filled with macerated strawberries in strawberry liqueur, pistachio sponge, strawberry shards and a strawberry and thai basil sauce.
By the end of the meal, Mr Wallace compared the finalist to “top professional chefs” as he told her: “You are the real deal.”
What next for the Masterchef?
The newly crowned MasterChef said she was looking forward to “turning this love of cooking into a profession”.
She added: “Long term, my dream is to open a restaurant, and eventually multiple restaurants – where I can showcase the food of my homeland in Northern Thailand – and hopefully work towards earning a Michelin star!
“I want to show the world that Northern Thai food is amazing, because it really is. I just love to see people’s faces light up when they eat my food.”