After the successful launch of the new Young MasterChef by Shine TV on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer in January, they are currently in the process of producing a second series for 2024. This upcoming season will introduce a new judge, Big Has.
In addition to Michelin-trained online cooking sensation and Young MasterChef judge, Poppy O’Toole, Big Has will also be taking on the role of supervising the competition to discover a fresh generation of culinary talent in the five-part series.
Big Has, renowned as a chef, food presenter, YouTuber, and bestselling author, had previously made an appearance on the show as a guest judge.
MasterChef Executive Editor, Shine TV, David Ambler, says: “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 Commissioning Editor, Sarah Clay, says: “Young MasterChef as the latest 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 says: “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 says: “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 it’s brilliant to be back in the MasterChef studio with him to welcome the next generation of culinary talent.”
Hailing from Edmonton and of Turkish Cypriot descent, the towering 6ft 6 Big Has, whose full name is Hasan Semay, completed Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen training programme in 2011. He subsequently spent a decade honing his culinary skills in upscale London kitchens until the onset of the COVID pandemic. This prompted him to launch his immensely popular YouTube channel, Sunday Sessions, where he crafts delectable dishes from around the globe within the confines of his garden. Big Has also boasts the status of a bestselling author with his book HOME and frequently makes appearances as a chef and culinary talent in various media outlets.
Young MasterChef is a platform that showcases emerging and promising culinary talents arising from Britain’s gastronomic revolution, aged between 18 and 25. These aspiring chefs engage in progressively challenging and exhilarating culinary tasks to demonstrate their potential as the next sensation in the culinary world and to vie for the coveted trophy. Throughout the series, the judges are joined by captivating food-oriented guests.
Kerth Gumbs, the esteemed London chef and judge in Series 1, is stepping down from his role due to commitments related to his restaurant and other professional obligations.
The commissioning of Young MasterChef was carried out by Kalpna Patel-Knight, Head of Entertainment Commissioning, and Fiona Campbell, Controller of Youth Audience (BBC iPlayer & BBC Three). The initial season of Young MasterChef is accessible for viewing on BBC iPlayer.
Produced by Shine TV, a division of Banijay UK, in collaboration with Ziji Productions, the 5-part, 60-minute series is helmed by Executive Editor David Ambler. The BBC’s Commissioning Editor is Sarah Clay.