A Dorset chef who went from pot washer to MasterChef finalist is cooking up a storm on the popular BBC show. 

After six weeks of cook-offs, which saw 48 chefs battle it out for a place in finals week, Elly Wentworth is hoping to be crowned champion of MasterChef: The Professionals this week after making it to the final four. 

Elly, 24, said: “I applied because I thought it’d be a good challenge and when I got on I couldn’t believe it. There were more than 3,000 applicants so it was an achievement just to get on.

“MasterChef has been the most challenging, toughest competition I've ever been in and to reach the finals is a dream. The judges have believed in my cooking from day one and it's something to be proud of - but every time I've walked into the MasterChef kitchen I've known I'm only as good as the plate of food I'm about to cook. 

“It’s been really good. It’s got harder and harder each challenge. You have to think on your feet and it can be scary.”

Elly, originally from Poole, currently works as a junior sous chef at Michelin-starred restaurant Lucknam Park in Chippenham, Wilts. 

She said: “My dad still lives in Wareham and they’re very proud of me there. Everyone’s been wishing me good luck and I’ve had loads of support.” 

Elly began her career pot washing when she was just 13-year-old. 
“I fell into cooking,” she said. “I started in a local pub in Plymouth when I was 13. One Saturday evening, they needed an extra hand, and the rest is history. I fell in love with cooking.”

And what’s next for the young chef? 

“My ambitions as a young female chef are to push my ability, work with some of the most talented chefs in the South West and gain as much experience and knowledge from them as possible,” said Elly. 

“My plan for next year is to continue at Lucknam Park under Hywel Jones and my goal is to progress to sous chef level within six months. 

“For now, it's about gaining more experience, but I am aiming to be head chef of my own restaurant by the time I'm 27.”

MasterChef: The Professionals – The Final Week, continues tonight and concludes tomorrow at 8pm on BBC Two.