MasterChef 2022 contestants | Meet the amateur chefs

With the song, which made it in the UK Top 40 chart, referencing over 20 different foods, it's up to the contestants to interpret the brief how they wish.

But which contestants will make it into the final? Here's everything you need to know about the remaining chefs as well as those that have been eliminated.

MasterChef 2022 contestants

Semi-finalists

Eddie 

Age: 30

Job: Marine pilot

From: Beverley, Yorkshire

Eddie is a marine pilot from Yorkshire. As a child he travelled to France, which inspired his love for the classic regional dishes of France.

He says: "My Indian heritage also plays a huge part in my cooking style. I love to cook the Punjabi dishes I grew up eating with my family. But my real passion is the great Mughlai cuisine: the historic royal dishes of Old Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad. I also love to combine classic techniques with Indian flavours, creating my own fusion."

Ioan

Age: 38

Job Marketing Manager

From: Salford

MasterChef has been a dream of Ioan's for a long time.

"I have avidly watched it over several years, always thinking “I will apply … one day” – and here I am, I finally plucked up the courage! This is the opportunity of a lifetime. I want to demonstrate my passion, my ability to grow as a cook and most importantly I want to have fun. I am so excited being part of the MasterChef competition this year!" the aspiring chef says.

Olayemi

Age: 51

Job HR Project Manager

From: Harrogate

Olayemi grew up

Grew up in Nigeria in multiple cities including Lagos, as well as Nevis Island WI in the Caribbean, Blackburn, England for 10 years and Harrogate for the past nine years.

"Traditional Nigerian cuisine is what I’m here to champion in the competition. However, my journey from Nigeria to the West Indies in 1995, then to the UK in 1997 has influenced my cooking in so many ways."

Pookie 

Age: 45

Job: Beauty salon owner

From: Solihull

Pookie is a beauty salon owner, who lives in Solihull with her husband. She was born in Bangkok, Thailand and moved to the UK after her degree.

"I am Thai with Chinese heritage and although this has a huge influence on my cooking, I don’t limit myself to Thai-Chinese food. I like cooking international foods but love introducing my own style with all the foods I’ve cooked. Most of all I want my food to be flavoursome, delicious, fun and put a smile on people’s faces," she says.

Radha

Age: 23

Job: Law graduate

From: Bradford

Drawing on her dual Indian-British heritage, Radha combines Indian cuisine with Western influences.

She says: "I also love pairing my food with cocktails! I love to recreate classic British desserts as they remind me of the puddings I ate at boarding school. I’ve been a vegetarian for the majority of my life, so this inspires me to cook with plant-based products, elevating a humble vegetable and giving it a spicy twist by pairing it with flavours of my Indian heritage."

Sarah 

Age: 47

Job: Marketing Consultant

From: Kinross, Scotland

Sarah is a marketing consultant from Scotland. She has two children, aged 15 and 11 and loves using Scottish ingredients in her cooking.

"Both my mother and grandmother are great cooks. My mum was the one who taught me how to cook initially and my grandmother was a great baker and made the best homemade chips! I feel like they both still inspire the dishes I cook today in their own way," she says.

Heat 1

Clive - Eliminated

Age: 50

Job: School facilities manager

From: Chafford Hundred, near Grays

Clive is a school facilities manager. He is married with three children, aged 24, 23 and 18.

"I predominantly focus on Caribbean cooking but am happy to try my hand at everything, including Thai, Italian and Chinese cuisine," he says.

"I take inspiration from my family, and the food I ate as a child but also where I have travelled to as an adult. I’d love to be able to elevate Caribbean cooking and bring it into a fine dining setting. This is what I hope I can show in the competition."

Haylee - Eliminated

Age: 29

Job: Events manager

From: London

Haylee is an events manager from London. She lives with her boyfriend, and her cooking is inspired by her Jamaican-Finnish heritage.

"My mum is Finnish, my dad’s family is Jamaican and I grew up in the UK so I am a Fimaican! My cooking is a combination of my heritage. I love the big bold flavours of Caribbean food but also the lighter touches of Nordic dishes," she says.

"I’ve always wanted to work in the food industry and competing in MasterChef is a way to see if that can become a reality. It’s a test of my skills and a test of how I handle the pressure."

Laura - Eliminated

Age: 32

Job: Politics student

From: Bath

Laura's big passion is Sri Lankan soul food.

She says: "My mum is Sri Lankan and is a wonderful cook. I love recreating the dishes I grew up eating and those I’ve tried whilst visiting family in Sri Lanka. I have a 110-year-old cookbook that has been passed down in my family so I love working my way through that.

"Having been a single mum for a few years now, I wanted to finally do something for myself. Cooking for my friends became a weekly tradition. My friend encouraged me to send in the application and I ended up here!"

Lisa - Eliminated

Age: 39

Job: Cleaning business owner

From: Killearn, north of Glasgow

Lisa owns her own cleaning business in Killearn. She lives with her wife Rachel, and between them they have four children who are 19, 17, 13 and eight.

"I’d say I’m quite a classical cook. I like cooking hearty dishes but in a fine dining way. I particularly love cooking with game, taking inspiration from the amazing Scottish produce I’m surrounded by. And any opportunity to make burgers and barbecue, I take it," Lisa says.

Paul - Eliminated

Age: 53

Job: Builder (ex police officer)

From: Christchurch, Dorset

Paul is a builder. He lives in Christchurch with his girlfriend.

"I love cooking a whole range of dishes from all over the world, and also traditional British dishes, all with the focus of packing a punch with flavour. Living on the coast I cook a lot of seafood and I also take massive pride in making really good sauces," Paul says.

Rachel - Eliminated

Age: 22

Job: Beer bike tour guide

From: Belfast

Rachel is originally from Derry. She now lives with her fiancé in Belfast.

"I love using interesting ingredients. My dad once drove 80 miles to drop off some fresh nettles from his garden for me to cook with! My nana was a baker by trade and my mum is a fantastic cook. My fiancé’s mother was a chef in her younger years and she was definitely my main inspiration to cook," she says.

Rishi - Eliminated

Age: 26

Job: Dentist

From: Pinner, Harrow

Rishi is a dentist from Pinner, Harrow. He grew up in North West London but lived in Bristol for five years whilst he was at university. He now lives at home with his mum and dad.

"I’ve been a vegetarian all my life and really want to showcase the potential that vegetarian and vegan food really has, especially with a fusion of pan-Asian flavours," he says.

Heat 2

Ally - Eliminated

Age: 28

Job: Property solicitor

From: Edinburgh

Ally, 28, is a property solicitor from Edinburgh. He loves fresh ingredients and seasonal produce and would define his style of cooking as classical or modern European.

He says: "I have been a fan of the show for as long as I can remember and have been prompted to apply by friends and family for many years. It is, in my view, one of the most well-known brands in the culinary world. I really wanted to test myself in a high-pressure environment, and meet other like-minded home cooks who are as obsessed with food as I am. What MC fan doesn’t want a coveted MC apron!"

Has - Eliminated

Age: 38

Job: Police officer

From: London

As a Cypriot, Has loves to cook authentic dishes from Cyprus, but also branches out and fuses different cuisines together.

"Cooking has always been my way of relaxing from a pretty stressful and serious job. My friends all tell me my food has the wow factor, so it’s time to really put it to the test in front of the judges," Has says.

Holly - Through to the semi-final

Age: 29

Job: Theatre Director

From: London

Holly describes her cooking style as "undefined", saying: "I basically cook what I like and it’s quite varied! I love cooking Asian fusion and also dishes inspired by my travels. I do love to add a bit of drama to my dishes. Food can be fun as well, right?"

Joanna - Eliminated

Age: 28

Job: Social Media Manager

FromLondon

Joanna grew up in Enfield, North London with her Big Greek family, who she says gave her a lot of "love" but "no privacy."

Her background has definitely influenced her cooking style, with the aspiring chef revealing: "I’ll always try something new and creative but Greek food obviously has a special place in my heart. I love taking recipes passed down from generations and putting a modern spin on them. I don’t like taking things too seriously when I’m the kitchen, because it’s all about having fun. But I have a passion for refinement and making things look pretty."

Leon - Eliminated

Age: 35

Job: Bank Manager

From: Swansea

Leon's style of cooking is a mixture of street food and fusion.

"I love researching different cuisines and having a go at cooking them myself with my own twist. I’m inspired by the food I grew up eating and also the food my family loves me to cook," he says.

Niall - Eliminated

Age: 57

Job: Retired Head Teacher

From: Derry

Niall is a retired head teacher, who is originally from Belfast. Niall is married to Ashley and they have three children and three grandchildren.

"I would describe my food as ‘Hearty Irish Fair’ but that it also draws influence from my time spent in Italy. I love using herbs and spices and championing what I think is the best seafood in the world from Northern Ireland," Niall says.

Stephanie - Eliminated

Age: 36

Job: Social Care Partner

From: Luton

Stephanie is an aspiring chef from Luton. Her food inspiration comes from her Caribbean background.

She says: "My mum, who is of Dominican descent, my sister, and my grandparents have all been huge influences on my cooking. My father as well, who is Jamaican, loves food from his home country. We love spices in our food! So I take inspiration from my heritage but also just love to try and make different foods that I love and try to make them look pretty on a plate."

Tigi - Eliminated

Age: 46

Job: Insurance Broker

From: Surrey

Tigi is married with two daughters, aged 13 and 10.

He says: " love to cook what I grew up with – West African dishes. I started cooking from a very young age, being in the kitchen with my mum when she cooked, and then later on, my older brother took over the teaching, giving me the basic skills I needed as I was growing up. Since then, I’ve just kept learning really and developing more over the years."

Heat 3

Darryll - Eliminated

Age: 60

Job: Stockbroker

From: London

Darryll is a stockbroker from London. He's married and has a daughter and two stepdaughters.

"I love cooking traditional comfort foods - British and French classics with my own twist. I will often cook the same dish in order to perfect it. You can say my curries are never the same!" He says.

Ibz - Eliminated

Age: 23

Job: Retail supervisor

From: London

Ibz's food style is inspired by his Caribbean background.

He says: "My West Indian Guyanese and Jamaican heritage is the main source of my inspiration. Many of the dishes from Guyana and Jamaica have a deep-rooted history. Every dish from Oxtail and Curry Goat to Guyanese Vegetable Choka has a beautiful and sometimes even dark story, but I feel like it deserves to be celebrated and elevated to level that maybe French or Italian cuisine is seen at."

Jan-Paul - Eliminated 

Age: 34

Job: Fashion Sales Executive

From: London

Jan-Paul has many cooking influences, saying: "My parents emigrated to the UK in the late 1970s from the Philippines, so I grew up on Filipino food as well as Western food at home. My late father was also a waiter at a Japanese restaurant in Mayfair, and as a family we would often go out for Japanese or Chinese meals too.

The 34-year-old adds: "More recently my older brother has moved to Italy and I have visited around two to three times a year. My cooking is a melting pot of all these influences."

Johnny - Eliminated

Age: 40

Job: Customer Service Manager

From: Wolverhampton

Johnny wants to make his son proud with his MasterChef performance.

"Whilst I do get inspiration from my Indian heritage, I love cooking quite classical French dishes most of the time," he says.

Michaela - Eliminated

Age: 27

Job: Market Research Director

Job: London

Michaela has a big foodie family, saying: "Coming from a Jewish household, a culture of communal cooking and eating has characterised my upbringing. Food sits as a centre point of all my family events whether that be Friday night dinner, Jewish festivals, or visiting restaurants for special occasions. I cook dishes from these experiences but also love to try new dishes inspired by other cultures and cuisines."

Nazya - Eliminated

Age: 42

Job: NHS worker

From: Bolton

Nazya grew up in Karachi, Pakistani, before moving to the UK at age 10. A lot of her cooking inspiration comes from her Asian background.

"I take inspiration from the cuisine of my heritage (Karachi, Pakistan), and love using recipes that have been in my family for years, but then like to add my add twist to them by incorporating different cuisine’s ideas," she says.

Sonu - Eliminated

Age: 36

Job: Homemaker

From: West London

Sonu was born in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. After getting married, she migrated to the UK at the age of 25.

So, why MasterChef?

"Being deaf has been a struggle at points and cooking has always been there as my way of relaxing. I now feel ready to show that being deaf doesn’t mean I have limited options, or I can’t have a go at the competition and I feel ready to give it my best shot," she says.

Heat 4

Bhavina - Eliminated

Age: 31

Job: Head of Marketing

From: Barking, London

Bhavina is from Birmingham, but now lives in London with her best friend.

She says: "I grew up in a big family, with my mum cooking Gujurati (North West India) dishes. I like cooking traditional recipes that she cooked when we were little but also my own take on them - Indian food with a twist I guess you could say."

Carly - Eliminated

Age: 34

Job: Dental Nurse

From: Sheffield

Carly doesn't really like to stick to the script when it comes to cooking.

"I’d say my style of cooking is intuitive. I don’t really follow recipes, I just go with the flow and cook by eye and taste. I love good hearty British food for everyday cooking but then often try something new if it’s a special occasion," the aspiring chef explains.

Evy - Eliminated

Age: 38

Job: Artist

From: Worcester Park, Surrey

Evy grew up in in central Poland in a little town called Tomaszow Mazowiecki. She then lived for a year in Valencia, Spain, while studying architecture and moved to London in 2006.

"I grew up in Poland so my childhood was full of quite hearty Polish food which I still love to cook, but I now take inspiration from so many more places. I love trying to elevate my food to that fine dining level, with beautiful presentation. I guess that’s the artist in me," Evy says.

Jamahl - Eliminated

Age: 27

Job: Recruitment Consultant

From: London

Jamahl grew up in Woolwich, South East London. While at university, he lived in Coventry and Barcelona for a summer, where he learnt about "great" food.

"My Caribbean roots certainly inspire what I cook, but I also love to show that you can mix that up with other cuisines. So I love to cook food that I remember eating as a child but also dishes I enjoy eating as an adult," Jamahl says.

James - Through to the semi-final

Age: 38

Job: PGA Golf Professional

From: Kent

James describes his cooking style as: "British homely dishes, but I love learning new dishes."

He adds: "I mainly cook for my family, which includes two young children. I like it when we get a chance to eat as a family and I love making food fun for the kids. Masking different pastas, pizzas or baking some sweet treats is something they love getting involved with."

Meg - Eliminated

Age: 24

Job: Radio Producer

From: Manchester

Meg is hoping to inspire the judges with her vegan dishes.

"I’m vegan, so I love to experiment with all sorts of vegan dishes," she says. "Having fun with my food is really important. For me it’s about sharing delicious food with my friends. I love using spices and never compromise on flavour with my dishes."

Oli - Eliminated

Age: 31

Job: Wine Merchant

Current Location: Walthamstow, London

Oli comes from an Italian background so his roots are embedded in Southern Mediterranean food.

"I work in the wine industry so whilst I don’t work directly with food, I do work indirectly with it in many ways, wine pairings, the world of restaurants. It’s my day job but I love it and I food and cooking is a natural progression from this. I want to now see if I can bring the two things together and take it to that next level," Oli says.

Thomas - Through to the semi-final

Age : 60

Job: Interior Designer

From: Windsor

Thomas gets his cooking inspiration from all-over.

"I’ve lived in seven different countries in my life: Singapore; UK, USA; Holland; Germany; Hong Kong and China. What I cook is an eclectic mix of these experiences," he says.

Vanessa - Eliminated

Age: 28

Job: Credit Controller

From: London

Vanessa wants to give Caribbean food the recognition it deserves.

She says: "My parents are Jamaican, my grandma was born in Costa Rica, and I have other relatives from South America and Asia, which influence and inspire what I cook. Those are my main food inspirations, along with the places I’ve travelled to."

Amedeo - Eliminated

Age: 32

Job: Senior Marine Officer

From: Lowestoft

Amedo was born and raised in my home city of Naples in the South of Italy, where he found his love for the sea.

"I love the sea and am passionate about fishing and cooking fish. I’d love to showcase this on MasterChef," Amedeo says.

Heat 5

Angela

Age: 31

Job: Childcare worker

From: Gilberdyke, East Riding, Yorkshire

Angela describes her cooking as "rustic", saying: "I’m a rustic home-cook whose aim is to make engaging food for children.

"I’m passionate about nature and love to bring in my own botanical twists to my cooking, using ingredients you wouldn’t find in a supermarket. I forage with my girls and this inspires what I cook. There is nothing better than picking something in a forest and cooking in the wild."

Dean

Age: 41

Job: Multiple Sclerosis campaigner

From: Edinburgh

Dean gets lots of his cooking inspiration from YouTube videos. He says: "Over lockdown the kids and I would cook together all the time. It’s a real special moment in our house when we are all in the kitchen together, having fun, trying new things and bonding over the meals we make.

"I want to make my family proud. I have MS and since the moment I was diagnosed I’ve tried to push myself out of my comfort zone. I am very determined to show my kids not to give up and to keep fighting."

Farokh

Age: 36

Job: Drama Lecturer

From: East London

Farokh calls his cooking style "experimental", saying: "My style of food is experimental European with minimal presentation and hints of flavours from all around the world - particularly Persian and Iranian ingredients and aromas."

So, why MasterChef?

"I wanted to see if people whose job it is to think about food would like my cooking," he adds.

Hannah

Age: 27

Job: Food Supply manager

From: Stratford, East London

Hannah is a huge MasterChef fan, saying: "I'm a die-hard MasterChef fan! I’ve watched MasterChef since the Lloyd Grossman days. It’s the highlight of my week when it’s on TV. For some reason I'd always put off applying, but after a couple of years of family and friends nagging, I finally took the plunge."

Mark

Age: 34

Job: Accountant

From: Southwark, London

Mark's cooking inspiration comes from his Asian background.

He says: "I’d say my style is eclectic, but I’m always inspired by my travels and Filipino roots most especially my mum. I like to incorporate this with European and modern style of cooking. My husband is British and his family are traditional cooks, so that has influenced my style too."

Martin

Age: 50

Job: Vintage clothing wholesaler

From: Birmingham

Martin loves to cook for others, especially his wife.

He says: "Cooking is a way to people’s hearts. I remember the first meal I cooked my wife when we started dating. It won her over and we’ve been married for 15 years now. If I can win the judges over with my food as well, that would be incredible."

Zizi - Eliminated

Age: 56

Job: IT business analyst

From: Eynsham, Oxfordshire

Zizi loves the "social side of cooking", saying: "Bringing people together with food, sharing stories and talking about the dishes. I’m a feeder! To enter a competition where it’s all centred about food and people is incredible and I feel so proud to have this opportunity.

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