Monica Galetti is stepping down from MasterChef (Picture: BBC)
MasterChef: The Professionals has confirmed that Monica Galetti won’t be a judge on the next series of the beloved BBC competition show.
The 47-year-old chef, who has appeared on the programme since 2009, is taking a hiatus to focus on the restaurant she runs with her husband David Galetti and to spend more time with her family.
‘It’s with sadness that we announce that Monica Galetti will be temporarily stepping down from judging for the next series of MasterChef: The Professionals to focus on the increasing demands of her restaurant and to support her family,’ a statement read.
‘Monica is one of the most talented chefs of her generation, and we fully support her decision, David Ambler, Executive Editor of the programme added.
‘We have worked together closely for the past 14 years and regard Monica 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 return.’
Monica said that she made her decision to exit MasterChef: The Professionals with a ‘heavy heart’ as she addressed the news on Instagram.
‘My family need me, my restaurant needs me and trying to balance long filming days over the next three months with all my commitments meant that something had to give,’ she penned.
‘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.’
Monica served as a judge alongside Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace (Picture: BBC)
Monica added: ‘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! Mx’
Monica served as a judge on the BBC series alongside Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing and celebrated MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace.
It has not yet been confirmed who will replace her.
Monica trained as a chef in New Zealand and in 1999 made the move to London where she worked at Roux’s Michelin starred restaurant Le Gavroche.
She left Le Gavroche in 2015 and in 2017 opened her first restaurant Mere, in London, named after her mother.