Anna Haugh will join BBC One’s MasterChef: The Professionals as judge for the next series alongside Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace, it was announced on Friday.
It comes after former judge Monica Galetti stepped down from filming to balance the needs of her restaurant business and her family earlier this month.
Anna is the chef patron of Myrtle Restaurant in Chelsea and will join Marcus and Gregg for series 15, which returns to BBC One later this year.
Exciting: Anna Haugh will join BBC One’s MasterChef: The Professionals as judge for the next series alongside Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace, it was announced on Friday
Anna has been cooking professionally for almost 20 years. She started her apprenticeship in L’Ecrivain in Dublin before she went on to work in Paris for Gualtiero Marchesi.
When Anna moved to London, she worked with Shane Osborn at Pied a Terre, Philip Howard at The Square and then was head chef in the opening of London House for Gordon Ramsay.
MasterChef Executive Editor, David Ambler, said: ‘Anna brings a wealth of culinary expertise and experience to the competition, and we’re delighted to welcome her as a judge on MasterChef: The Professionals.’
Anna said: ‘MasterChef has an impeccable reputation and legacy within the hospitality industry. I have long-admired Monica as an incredible chef and she’s paved the way for female chefs. It’s a privilege to be keeping her seat warm in the MasterChef kitchen.’
Off she goes: It comes after former judge Monica Galetti, stepped down from filming to balance the needs of her restaurant business and her family earlier this month
BBC Commissioning Editor, Entertainment, Sarah Clay said: ‘Anna is a wonderful addition to the MasterChef family, her food knowledge is exceptional. I’m looking forward to seeing her critiques and bringing her warmth and enthusiasm to the kitchen.’
Anna is a regular chef on BBC One’s Morning Live where she spoke about her new role as judge.
She is also host and regular guest chef on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen; was one of the main chefs on BBC’s Ready Steady Cook, and took part in Season 2 of Snackmasters on Channel 4 and three series of BBC One’s Royal Recipes.
Yay! Anna is the chef patron of Myrtle Restaurant in Chelsea and will joins Marcus and Gregg for series 15, which returns to BBC One later this year
Earlier this month Monica announced that she was quitting her role as a judge on the BBC show.
The chef, 46, has been part of the judging trio for the last 14 years, joining first with Michel Roux Jr and Gregg and then with Marcus from 2014.
In a statement she said she was taking a step back from the TV role to focus on her family and her London restaurant.
Monica is married to French-born sommelier David Galetti and shares a teenage daughter with him, Anaïs, now 14.
Busy: Anna is also host and regular guest chef on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen; was one of the main chefs on BBC’s Ready Steady Cook (pictured on Ready Steady Cook)
Monica said in her statement: ‘It is with a heavy heart that I’ve made this decision to step back from filming this year’s series of MasterChef: The Professionals.
‘My family need me, my restaurant needs me and trying to balance long filming days over the next three months with all these commitments meant that something had to give.
‘So, for the moment, my focus has to be 100% about my loved ones and rebuilding my kitchen team who have had a battering over the last few months especially. Those in the hospitality industry know just how tough it is at the moment.
‘To my MasterChef family, crew and friends, I’m so sorry that I won’t be with you this year but I hope to be back soon.’
She continued: ‘Thank you to both BBC and Shine TV for being so understanding of my decision but for this year I’ll be your number one supporter from the side lines.
‘To my fellow judges and friends Marcus and Gregg – I’ll be watching – you’ve got this! If you’re ever unsure just think – what would Mon do?! See you soon!’
Sarah Clay, Commissioning Editor for Entertainment, said: ‘Monica is a valued member of the MasterChef family, and while we will miss her expertise and invaluable cooking and food knowledge, we fully support her filming break to focus on her family and business. We wish her luck and hope to see her back in the MasterChef kitchen in the future.’
Busy: In a statement Monica said she was taking a step back from the TV role to focus on her family and her London restaurant (pictured with husband David at her eatery Mere in Fitzrovia)
David Ambler, Executive Editor, MasterChef, added: ‘Monica is one of the most talented chefs of her generation, we have worked together closely for the past 14 years and regard her as an integral member of the MasterChef family.
‘Our hope is this situation is just for this season and the door is always open for her to return.’
Based on a format created by Franc Roddam, MasterChef sets out to find the best amateur cooks.
The format has enjoyed huge success globally, with 65 local versions to-date, more than 10,000 episodes and 500 series worldwide.
Long-running: Monica said in her quitting statement: ‘It is with a heavy heart that I’ve made this decision to step back from filming this year’s series of MasterChef: The Professionals’ (pictured on the first series)
There have been 18 series of the revamped version of MasterChef; 16 series of Celebrity MasterChef, 14 series of MasterChef: The Professionals and three series of Junior MasterChef.
Last year Monica opened up about racism in the world of TV and food.
Speaking with Good Housekeeping, the chef insisted that she will always call out a racist – whether it is ‘straight-up racism’ or ‘ignorance’ – otherwise those guilty of it won’t learn.
Monica, who is Samoan-born and raised mostly in New Zealand, said: ‘I was at a dinner with a group of women once and I was laughing about something with a friend when a woman across the table said, ‘Oh, that’s what I love about you Asians – you just say it how it is.’
‘And I’ve been in a kitchen where someone has said, ‘I don’t know what that is; ask the black girl over there.’ And I’m like, ‘Are you talking about me?’
‘When no one says anything it carries on, so when I hear it happening – whether it’s to me or someone else – I call it out. We all have to.
‘I want other women of colour to know that it’s anyone’s for the taking. Yes, it’s going to be tough to stay strong in the beginning, but anyone can do what I’ve done,’ she told the publication.
Monica spoke about finding her feet in TV – and how she was compared to the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Simon Cowell for being ‘mean’.
Presenter: As well as MasterChef Monica appeared on the BBC show Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby alongside Giles Coren (left)
‘Television is a funny world,’ she mused. ‘At first, I found the feedback quite harsh; having people judge you and say you’re horrible is difficult.
‘I was being called the Simon Cowell of the cookery world and the female Gordon Ramsay. I mean, what? From all I knew, that was simply part of being a chef; it was the way we talked in the kitchen.
‘I’ve learned to be a bit more careful with my words since then, so people don’t actually believe I’m mean!’
Of her home life, Monica said: ‘That’s been the toughest part. Being a mum and keeping a foot in the top end of the industry has not been easy.
‘In the beginning, David and I split the childcare between us when one of us was at work, the other was at home, then we’d swap – but we hardly saw each other. Even then, I suffered from a lot of guilt.
‘Now that Anaïs is 13, she needs me less, but I have this constant fear that I only have a few more years before she’s going to want to go off and do her own thing.’
Heritage: Born in Samoa and raised in New Zealand, Monica developed an early interest in food – a very important part of the Samoan culture – and trained as a chef in New Zealand