An up-and-coming Sussex sous-chef said his time on Masterchef: The Professionals has been “really worth it” after reaching the final of the cookery show.

Tom Hamblet is now among the best three chefs in this year’s iteration of the BBC programme and is in the race to be crowned champion later this week.

Now, the 24-year-old chef says that he wants to continue to develop off the back of the show and called the experience a “huge confidence boost”.

Tom, who works at Camellia in South Lodge, Horsham, said: “To get to the final four is a huge confidence for me. It has been really worth it.

The Argus: Tom HambletTom Hamblet (Image: BBC/Shine TV)

“I wasn’t sure what to think about the judges [Monica Galletti, Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace]. They were just lovely and supportive and smiling.

“I just want to keep improving and become a better chef, I don’t want to get stuck still. I would love to have my own restaurant one day.”


The sous-chef, who works at South Lodge with his father, has wowed judges throughout the competition with his classical cooking.

Tom added that standout moments on the show included working in Ikoyi, a two-star Michelin restaurant in London, where he described the food as “stunning”.

After progressing to Finals week, Tom will cook for some of the country's top chefs including head chefs from Restaurant Gordan Ramsey and other Michelin-starred restaurants.

Providing a peak behind the scenes of the show, Tom described the kitchen atmosphere as “quite eerie” with all of the other chefs in the competition focused on impressing the judges.

He also cited his family as a big influence and source of support, adding: “My mum is an excellent baker as well as my dad being a chef, so I do think cooking is in my blood, and it’s nice that we can work so close by each other at South Lodge Hotel.

“Any questions I get I go straight to my mum and dad. Mum is a cake expert.”

The Finals week of the competition began last night with Tom advancing to the final three in the competition.

Masterchef: The Professionals continues on BBC One with the winner crowned later this week.