Tom Hamblet – Masterchef: The Professionals Winner

Meet Tom

Born in Sussex and triumphant in MasterChef: The Professionals, 24 year old Tom Hamblet is assuming the role of Head Chef at the Camellia restaurant from January 3rd to March 31st, 2024.

We caught up with Tom following his special victory after seven weeks of competition on the BBC’s compelling chef challenge.

Allow us to present to you Tom Hamblet, the winner of MasterChef: The Professionals 2023.

Master chef- The Professionals Winner 2023 - Tom Hamblett- copyright BBC

Master chef: The Professionals Winner 2023 – Tom Hamblet – Picture copyright BBC Media Centre

What does it feel like to join the magnificent list of Masterchef: The Professionals winners?

It feels absolutely amazing to join the winners, it was such hard work during the competition so for it to pay off was amazing!

Describe finals day

On the day of the final I felt absolutely sick with nerves, the whole journey all led to that moment, and to know it was make or break on the day was terrifying and i just wanted to get it out of the way!

When did you start cooking?

I started cooking properly at 15/16 years of age when my apprenticeship started, doing 1 day at college and 4 days at work a week.

Your career so far?

I was at South Lodge as an apprentice for 2 years, then started a commis job in The Pass. I was then promoted to demi then moved to the Latymer for another year and 4 months, then went to Restaurant Interlude for 1 year and 8 months then moved back to South Lodge as sous chef!

Pictured – Michelin Starred Restaurant Interlude

Culinary inspirations?

I think in terms of inspirations, its always been the people around me, like all the chefs I’ve worked for and my parents.

Masterchef finalists including Tom Hamblet. Masterchef The Professionals 2023

What motivates you?

What motivates me the most is just trying to be better and keep moving forward, I always get scared of getting stuck and complacent so making sure I’m pushing myself is so supportive to me.

If you could change something about the hospitality industry, which bit would you change?

I think the hospitality industry is going well, but its hard to ignore all the restaurants struggling and going out of business, getting customers in is very hard and I think if I could change anything it would be to get more people eating out!

Review or accolade that has been particularly special to you already?

I think both competitions I did in my past definitely made me more competitive, the Rotary Young Chef of the Year and Future Chef really made myself realise what I was capable of.

What advice would you give to an aspiring chef?

I would say to any aspiring chef, get into a kitchen and work for a chef who’s food you really like the look of! Got to make sure you are fully invested from day 1!

Biggest challenge as a chef?

I would say my biggest challenge as a chef is probably to keep pushing yourself, sometimes you get a bit tired and want to relax which is completely natural but that’s when you let things slip!

Guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is tango ice blasts, I absolutely love them and easily have 4 a week😬

Favourite Sussex Supplier?

I’d say my favourite sussex supplier is Hutchinson Butchers, they’re so reliable and do amazing produce.

Photocredit: Hutchinson Butchers

Your go-to knife?

I have loads of different brands of knifes, but i have two favourites and that’s Shun and Wüsthof.

Photocredit: Wusthof

How does Tom Hamblet relax when he’s away from the restaurant?

I like to relax by spending nice quality time with my girlfriend Megan, or doing some Mario Kart with my siblings, I used to be very into golf but I’ve realised I’m a bit of a seasonal golfer and don’t like playing in the cold!

Favourite places to dine in Sussex?

I don’t think I can actually name a favourite Sussex restaurant! There are so many amazing restaurants in our area including Brighton restaurants.

What do you like to eat when you’re at home with the family?

I think the family favourite is definitely Mexican fajitas or enchiladas, we all love wraps!

Tom Hamblet enjoying leisure time with his family. Masterchef winner 2023

Favourite cuisine?

I think my favourite cuisine to eat is probably Thai cuisine, and favourite to cook is modern classical!

What’s next for Tom Hamblet?

Starting this month, I have 3 months starting at Camellia at South Lodge hotel doing a residency, then another 3 months at Lainston House doing food inspired by my dishes on Masterchef, so that’ll be a great experience for me. After that I’m unsure what’s next, I’ll just remain focused on what’s coming up.

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