MasterChef: The Professionals judge, Monica Galetti, is taking a break from her role as judge for the next series on BBC One.
Galetti has been part of the judging trio for the last 14 years, joining first with Michel Roux Jr and Gregg Wallace and then with Marcus Wareing from 2014.
Galetti takes a break
“It is with a heavy heart that I’ve made this decision to step back from filming this year’s series of MasterChef: The Professionals”, Galetti said.
“My family need me, my restaurant needs me and trying to balance long filming days over the next three months with all these commitments meant that something had to give.
“So, for the moment, my focus has to be 100% about my loved ones and rebuilding my kitchen team who have had a battering over the last few months especially. Those in the hospitality industry know just how tough it is at the moment.
“To my MasterChef family, crew and friends, I’m so sorry that I won’t be with you this year but I hope to be back soon.
“Thank you to both BBC and Shine TV for being so understanding of my decision but for this year I’ll be your number one supporter from the side lines.
“To my fellow judges and friends Marcus and Gregg – I’ll be watching – you’ve got this! If you’re ever unsure just think – what would Mon do?! See you soon!”
Sarah Clay, Commissioning Editor for Entertainment at the BBC, said: “Monica is a valued member of the MasterChef family, and while we will miss her expertise and invaluable cooking and food knowledge, we fully support her filming break to focus on her family and business.
“We wish her luck and hope to see her back in the MasterChef kitchen in the future.”
David Ambler, Executive Editor MasterChef, said: “Monica is one of the most talented chefs of her generation, we have worked together closely for the past 14 years and regard her as an integral member of the MasterChef family.
“Our hope is this situation is just for this season and the door is always open for her to return.”