Monica Galetti returns to MasterChef: Where has she been?

MasterChef: The Professionals S16,23-10-2023,PORTRAIT,Monica Galetti,**STRICTLY EMBARGOED NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01 HRS ON TUESDAY 17TH OCTOBER 2023**,Shine TV,Production
Monica Galetti makes a welcome return to the MasterChef kitchen. (Shine TV) (BBC /Shine TV)

Monica Galetti makes a welcome return to MasterChef: The Professionals for the new series but where has she been?

The professional chef is a favourite with fans of the show but had to take a year off in 2022 because of some tough personal circumstances.

Now, she's all set to join Gregg Wallace and Marcus Wareing back in the kitchen for the 2023 series, starting on Monday, 23 October. We can't wait to see how the new series unfolds.

Why was Monica Galetti not on MasterChef: The Professionals last year?

There was disappointment for regular MasterChef: The Professionals viewers when they tuned in to the 2022 series as long-serving judge Monica Galetti was not on the judging panel.

She might enjoy success as a TV judge, but Galetti, 48, reminded fans that she is first and foremost a restauranteur at Mere in London as she said she needed to concentrate on her business for a year.

MasterChef: The Professionals S16,23-10-2023,First Look,Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti, Gregg Wallace,**STRICTLY EMBARGOED NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01 HRS ON TUESDAY 10TH OCTOBER 2023**,Shine TV,Production
Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace will welcome back their co-star. (Shine TV) (BBC /Shine TV)

Galetti explained that she needed to focus on her family and on rebuilding her restaurant business which had been hit hard by Covid lockdowns.

Talking to The One Show in May 2022, Galetti said: "I’ve only been able to commit time to the show for three months when my team are strong, and I can have the balance of family, the restaurant and all my other commitments.

"When I’m filming, people don’t realise I do a 12-hour day of filming, and then I will get back to the restaurant in the evening."

Speaking openly about her life, she continued: "But at the moment, things are just out of sync, things are tough at the moment.

"I’m trying to spend time with my family, I have an ill nephew that I try to get back to see and filming was all starting at the same time.

"I’m short at the restaurant, I’m here tonight and straight after this I’m back in my kitchen."

Galetti added: "I just found a cannot manage the balance this time, and I just knew that something had to give, I think for my own mental health as well.

"It was just getting very dark trying to give 100% to this and 100% to that, and sometimes you just can’t do it all."

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/09/26: Monica Galetti attends The Childline Ball 2019 partnered with MasterChef for this year's theme at Old Billingsgate in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Monica Galetti took time to concentrate on her business and family. (LightRocket via Getty Images) (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett)

But speaking in July about her return to the show, Galetti revealed she was in a much better place.

During her time away from filming, she took time out to see a therapist and she opened up about her experiences.

Galetti told Gabby Logan's podcast The Mid Point: "I saw a therapist. I’ve never done that before.

"I‘ve never had so many things happening at the same time, I needed to reach out to outside help - someone just to talk to with everything. That was one of the best things I did."

She added: "I feel more energetic, more excited to be back in it this year having had that time out."

Who replaced Monica Galetti on MasterChef last year?

Anna Haugh . (BBC)
Anna Haugh stepped in for the 2022 contest. (BBC)

Although Galetti was absent from the 2022 competition, she left the judging in the capable hands of replacement chef Anna Haugh.

Speaking about filling in for Galetti, Haugh had said: "MasterChef has an impeccable reputation and legacy within the hospitality industry. I have long-admired Monica as an incredible chef and she’s paved the way for female chefs. It’s a privilege to be keeping her seat warm in the MasterChef kitchen."

Haugh joined Galetti's co-stars Gregg Wallace and Marcus Wareing as a judge.

How long has Monica Galetti been a judge on MasterChef?

MasterChef: The Professionals S16,23-10-2023,PORTRAIT,Monica Galetti, Gregg Wallace, Marcus Wareing,**STRICTLY EMBARGOED NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01 HRS ON TUESDAY 17TH OCTOBER 2023**,Shine TV,Production
Monica Galetti, Gregg Wallace and Marcus Wareing are back together. (Shine TV) (BBC /Shine TV)

We first saw Galetti in the MasterChef kitchen as a guest judge in 2008 but she joined full-time for the second season in 2009 alongside her then boss Michel Roux Jr.

Roux Jr eventually hung up his MasterChef apron, but Galetti stuck around. She was joined by Wareing to complete the line-up with Wallace.

She had appeared on every season until she took a break in 2022 and has also guest judged on the main MasterChef series for amateur contestants.

MasterChef: The Professionals returns to BBC One on Monday, 23 October at 9pm.

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This article originally appeared on Yahoo TV UK at