BBC Three’s Young MasterChef returning with new judge

15 August, 2023

After Shine TV’s successful launch of brand new Young MasterChef on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer in January, a second series for 2024 is in production, welcoming new judge, Big Has.

Joining Michelin-trained online cooking sensation and Young MasterChef judge, Poppy O’Toole, Big Has will also be overseeing competition to find a new generation of cooking talent in the five-part series.

Chef, food presenter, YouTuber and best-selling author Big Has first appeared in the series as a guest judge.

MasterChef Executive Editor, Shine TV, David Ambler, said:

“Welcoming Big Has back to Young MasterChef but this time as a judge, is really exciting. He’ll bring extensive restaurant experience as well as an ability to celebrate amazing food whatever the setting. As well as being an acclaimed chef, he knows the young foodie audience and can spot real talent.”

BBC Commissioing Editor, Sarah Clay, said:

Young MasterChef as the lastest in the MasterChef series, has an energy that reflects young foodies. There is an incredible range of new talent to uncover and we’re thrilled that Big Has is joining Poppy for this second series.”

Big Has said:

I can’t quite believe I’m going to be an actual MasterChef judge. I’ve had so much respect for MasterChef over the years and to become part of food TV history blows my mind. I may not believe it until I step in front of the cameras with Poppy. Getting to see the freshest cooking talent and taste some amazing dishes is a dream and I can’t wait to discover all the incredible foodies hiding in plain sight!”

Poppy said:

“I’m thrilled that Big Has is on board for the next series – I’ve loved watching his creations for years and I’ve told him he needs to BBQ for lunch one day on set! Working with him last year on Young MasterChef was inspiring and its brilliant to be back in the MasterChef studio with him to welcome the next generation of culinary talent.”

Born and raised in Edmonton, 6ft 6 Turkish Cypriot Big Has (full name Hasan Semay) graduated from Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen training programme in 2011. He then spent a decade cooking in high-end kitchens all over London until COVID, at which point he launched his hugely popular YouTube channel Sunday Sessions – creating delicious dishes from around the world in his garden. Big Has is also the best-selling author of HOME and regularly appears as a chef and food talent in the media.

Young MasterChef challenges fresh, up-and-coming food talent emerging from Britain’s food revolution, aged between 18 and 25. The hopefuls take on increasingly tough and exhilarating cooking tasks to prove they are the next foodie sensation and claim the coveted trophy. The judges are joined by exciting foodie guests throughout the series.

Renowned London chef and Series 1 judge, Kerth Gumbs, is to leave the show due to his restaurant and other professional commitments.

Young MasterChef was commissioned by Kalpna Patel-Knight, Head of Entertainment Commissioning and Fiona Campbell, Controller, Youth Audience (BBC iPlayer & BBC Three). The first series of Young MasterChef is available to watch on BBC iPlayer

The series of 5 x 60 is made by Shine TV, part of Banijay UK, in association with Ziji Productions, and the Executive Editor is David Ambler. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Sarah Clay.