Tom Hamblet Wins MasterChef: The Professionals 2023
Tom Hamblet, 24, Sous Chef at South Lodge Hotel in Sussex has won MasterChef: The Professionals 2023. In the final he beat Kasae Fraser, head chef at Robun in Bath and Tommy Thorn the former head chef of Ethicurean in Bristol.
Unusually, Tom works under his father, Lewis at South Lodge where Hamblet senior has been Executive Chef for the last 25 years. His mother Haley is a pastry chef at the Sussex hotel.
On winning Hamblet said: “I’m lost for words. It’s been such a good experience. I’ve done it! The trophy’s here. I’m holding it! I couldn’t be happier right now. I’m just going to enjoy the moment.”
He later told The Caterer: “Entering MasterChef was something I was very reluctant to do as it’s such a risk, but I’m obviously glad I did now, it was such an eye-opening experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I learnt a lot about myself and what I’m capable of.”
He said of his parents: “It’s really nice to hear how proud they are. It’s a big moment for me and them.”
Tom’s winning menu started with a poached native lobster tail with blanched red and yellow cherry tomatoes, filled with lobster claw meat in a lobster and chilli oil, topped with a lemon verbena gel, courgette balls and a creamy lobster and tomato sauce Américaine.
The main was seared beef fillet on a bed of pan-fried oyster mushrooms, served with braised beef cheek wrapped in brick pastry, topped with a poached oyster, a lovage emulsion, salsify, beef and red wine sauce and a beef and oyster tartare.
To finish the young chef served an olive oil sponge filled with an olive oil jam, topped with a set lemon curd, crème fraiche cream, fennel tops and a fennel pollen tuille, served with a fennel seed ice cream.