MasterChef returns for 16th series of TV’s biggest cooking competition on BBC One

MasterChef returns Monday 24, Wednesday 26 and Friday 28 February at 9pm, BBC One

Over eight exciting weeks, judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace are once again primed to discover the UK’s best amateur cook.

The 60 contestants starting the competition range from a cattle farmer and hairdresser to a music festival producer and an architect - all with the common goal - to prove their worth in the MasterChef kitchen and take home the prized trophy.

Kicking off the competition, the cooks this year face two brand-new challenges in the heat rounds. Success will earn them the right to wear a MasterChef apron. Their first test is the Signature Dish round - in which the six contestants bring from home the ingredients they need to put their best culinary foot forward. They have an hour and 15 mins minutes to deliver an impressive plate of food. The best two cooks, who wow John and Gregg from the start, earn themselves a MasterChef apron and go straight through to the third round cooking for past MasterChef winners and finalists. The remaining four get a second chance to prove themselves in another new test - the Three Ingredients Challenge. They must think on their feet and create a dish that includes all three of the ingredients included in the mystery box in front of them. It’s crucial they make an impression because at the end of this challenge, two more cooks earn themselves a MasterChef apron and two are sent home.

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