This week, Master Chef: The Professionals was back on our screens with some mouth-watering dishes and talented chefs from around the country.

Judges Monica Galetti, Gregg Wallace and Marcus Wareing were back for the first episode of the 14th season of the show, which involved a skills tests and a signature challenge.

Here’s everything you need to know about the first episode and the first four contestants who are hoping to get their hands on the MasterChef trophy. 

Who are the first four contestants?

Dan Lee

Dan is a 28-year-old private chef from Birmingham.

According to his Instagram page, he used to cook at Michelin-starred celebrity restaurant Table65 in Singapore but has now turned his hand to personal ventures. 

Instagram: @daniel.jb.lee 

Nico Fitzgerald

Nico, 28, a chef originally from Gibraltar, now is the head chef at the London Stock, Wandsworth.

Instagram: @nicofitzgerald

Dario Carvalho

Dario, 27, is a sous chef at skyscraper restaurant and cocktail bar 20 Stories in Manchester.

Instagram: @chefdarios

Lauren Loudon

29-year-old Lauren is an ex-yacht chef who now owns her own cafe in Surrey, The Deli, and uses her travels to inspire her food. 

Instagram: @sailingfooddiaries


What happened in the first challenge?

Two contestants were up against Marcus Wareing’s skills test, preparing the British classic bangers and mash alongside a beer and onion gravy at the behest of Wareing, all in 20 minutes.

First up was private chef Dan, who is half Cantonese, quarter English and quarter Irish, meaning he grew up around a huge variety of cuisines.

He didn’t get off to a bad start and had some praise from the judges, but his nerves got the better of him.

Next up was Nico. The judges liked his presentation but said his puree wasn’t soft enough and there wasn’t enough ale in the gravy.

Monica Galetti’s challenge involved cooking monkfish with a pea and bacon ragout.

First to face Monica’s test was 29-year-old Lauren, who runs her own café in Surrey.

Unfortunately, Lauren left a lot of skin on the monkfish and her skills showed a lot to be desired.

Finally, was Dario whose parents are both chefs, meaning the pressure was on.

The judges commented that he had a lot of techniques to sharpen up and weren't too impressed with his dish.

“I thought Dan and Nico did OK. Dario and Lauren, I think they’ve got a little bit of catching up to do,” said Marcus.

“We’ve seen it many times happen in this kitchen, everything can turn on its head in the next round,” said Monica.

What did they cook in the second round?

The next round was a signature 2-course menu, where the chefs battled it out to get a place in the next round.

Dan cooked a monkfish curry with turmeric, coconut kafir lime sauce with charred okra, lime and marinated aubergine. For dessert, he made a coconut panna cotta with mango.

Lauren took inspiration from her days as a chef on a superyacht and cooked flavours from the islands she has visited.

She did a fillet of seabass with a mussel mouse and some tomato water. She finished up with a key lime semifreddo with a ginger streusel, coconut, passion fruit, mango and rum.

Nico cooked a cannon of lamb with a mint marinated lamb heart and carrot puree. He used a seaweed crust.

For his second course, he cooked a blackberry and goat's milk yoghurt cheesecake and blackberry and bergamot sorbet.

Dario also chose lamb, doing a lamb cannon and a rack of lamb for his first course. For dessert, he did a raspberry mille-feuille and macerated raspberries.

“Great flavours, great ideas and some real promise,” said Greg.

Who went through and who was eliminated?

Dan was Monica’s chef of the day, with her praising his main course of monkfish and the panna cotta dessert.

Once again, Lauren, unfortunately, failed to impress the judges with her style and presentation, leaving her vulnerable for the elimination.

Dario’s mille-feuille let him down, as he was left rushing towards the end meaning it lacked the finesse needed to take him through to the next round.

Despite it being a tough competition, there were two chefs that were standout and made it through to the next round. 

Dan and Nico sailed through and will be cooking again for the judges in the quarter-final.

The next episode will see four new hopefuls take part in the challenge in the bid to be crowned MasterChef champion. 

MasterChef: The Professionals is next on BBC Two on Thursday November 1 at 9pm.