Stu Deeley has been crowned MasterChef: The Professionals champion 2019 after a tough final week that saw him go up against Olivia Burt and Exose Grant Lopo-Ndinga.

The three were challenged to cook their three favourite dishes, with 28 year old Stu serving the judges a starter of a soy and mirin-smoked salmon ballotine, with crispy salmon skin, cherry tomatoes marinated in dashi vinegar, chilli-flavoured taramasalata, smoked almonds and sorrel, served


with a dashi-infused tomato essence. His main course was lovage and rosemary-brined guinea fowl, topped with a yeast hazelnut crumb, soy glazed guinea fowl thigh, hen of the wood mushrooms, celeriac purée, celeriac barigoule, lovage emulsion and a spiced guinea fowl sauce.

Finishing his winning menu – inspired by his love of eating milk and cookies – was a cep and milk chocolate cookie, dusted in coffee cep powder, a milk chocolate and yoghurt      cream, a cookie tuille, cep caramel, coffee gel, salted milk ice cream and a coffee and



milk and foam.

Judge Marcus Wareing told the young chef from Birmingham his main course was “probably one of the best guinea fowl dishes I have ever eaten, I cannot fault that dish”.

The chef has used Asian flavours throughout  the competition in dishes that reflected the diversity of Birmingham’s food scene and its multi-cultural society.

The series had started with 48 contestants and after a month of unforgiving eliminations by judges Greg Wallace, Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing, just four finalists were left at the start of the last week.

Deeley is head chef at Birmingham’s Wilderness restaurant, but will leave the role to start his own project in the city.

I was very impressed with the final four but especially young Olivia Burt and the young African, Exose Grant Lopo-Ndinga. I was pleased to see him in the final as I have had the pleasure of employing young Ghanese boys over the last 12 years who are now running their own kitchens. They work hard and are desperate to learn.

Pictures courtesy of BBC. Some content courtesy of the Caterer and Hotelkeeper