Celebrity MasterChef winner revealed after grand final

The 2023 Celebrity MasterChef winner has been revealed – and the champion has admitted celebrating with beans on toast for a first meal after filming.

Twenty amateur celebrity cooks started but the grand final came down to three – Emmerdale’s Amy Walsh, Love Island’s Luca Bish and opera singer Wynne Evans.

After making Welsh lamb and bara brith for dessert in the cook-off, the BBC show was won by 51-year-old Wynne.

“I have never seen a celebrity cook like him ever before and I’m not sure we ever will again,” praised judge Gregg Wallace after crowning him the 18th Celebrity MasterChef champion.

Wynne said the “beautiful” Celebrity MasterChef experience had “changed his life” and he hoped it made his children proud.

“I can’t believe what has just happened,” said the father of two.

“I’m so thrilled to have won it and thrilled to be the first Welsh winner of Celebrity MasterChef.”

What’s the reaction to Wynne’s MasterChef win

The opera singer was stunned into silence when judge John Torode announced him the 2023 champion and as Amy congratulated with a hug, she said: “You deserve that.”

https://emp.bbc.com/emp/SMPj/2.50.4/iframe.htmlMedia caption,

“I’ve got the biggest mouth in show business so how I’ve managed to keep it to myself is a miracle”

Luca added: “To be in the final, I don’t think I can have any disappointment. It’s been a great experience but today the best person won.”

Wallace said Wynne’s cooking “gives us theatre” while Torode paid tribute to the performer’s culinary ability as he added: “Every single dish tells a story.”

“I don’t know how a MasterChef winner celebrates,” said Wynne with a wink. “But I know how a bloke from Carmarthen celebrates.”

He later admitted joining Luca and Amy for post-show celebratory drinks but Wynne revealed he thought he left the prestigious MasterChef trophy in a taxi after a few drinks.

“We had a celebration in the studio and Luca had been cooking with my favourite tipple Drambuie,” said the broadcaster, who presents a show on BBC Radio Wales.

“So I had a few of those because he had some left then we went out and celebrated.

Wynne Evans
Image caption,Wynne Evans said going on MasterChef was something for him now his two children have grown up

“I woke up in the morning in a blind panic because I thought I’d left the trophy in a taxi.

“I’m meant to keep me winning a secret from March to September but if I’ve left the trophy in a taxi, there’s huge implications for the entire series.

“Thankfully they took it off me in the studio, They do that so you can’t accidentally send a selfie to your mates.”

Wynne Evans
Image caption,Wynne Evans has become the 18th Celebrity MasterChef winner – and the first one from Wales.

The singer from Carmarthen also admitted the first meal he cooked after filming the show was baked beans on toast because he was “fed up of cooking”.

“I didn’t want to cook for about a month after the programme, it was so full on,” he said.

What did Wynne cook in the Celebrity MasterChef final?

Wynne used Welsh produce throughout the series, such as Pembrokeshire oysters and laverbread, and he continued in the final.

Wynne’s winning menu featured a starter of Carmarthen-Japanese sumo tuna tartare with avocado, edamame beans and wasabi, served with deep-fried cockle popcorn and a mango egg.

His main course was a bread of Evans cannon of lamb, served on samphire with wild garlic, porcini mushrooms and lamb rendered fried bread, with pomme dauphine and a fondant leek, finished with a red wine and redcurrant jus.

For dessert, Wynne served bara brith with Caerphilly cheese and fig jam, served with brie ice cream on crumbled bara brith and poached figs.

Twenty celebrities started the battle to become 2023 Celebrity MasterChef champion.

John Torode and Gregg Wallace

Judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace were helped by guest panels to whittle it down to one Wynner. Catch up the series box set on BBC iPlayer.

“I had to get special permission to stew the fruit for the bara brith overnight,” said Wynne.

“So I was on the phone to MasterChef asking it was ok if I brought my own stewed fruit in. I said to them ‘I’ll take a video, all I’m stewing them in is tea’. Thankfully they were happy.”

But he admitted parts of his grand final menu “went totally wrong” as he needed four attempts to “bring choux pastry up”.

Describing his winning menu, Wynne said: “I think these dishes represent everything that I am – local produce, stuff that I can easily get at home, and everything that I like to eat.”

“You’re so fiercely passionate about Welsh ingredients, it’s a fascinating combination and really daring but it works,” Torode told him.

Wynne was consistently praised for his high quality cooking by the judges throughout the six-week series.

“I couldn’t be more impressed if it sung me a hymn,” was Wallace’s response to Wynne’s now signature Christmas Cake sandwich – including turkey, sage pesto, Brussel sprout coleslaw, crushed roast potatoes and cranberry – in the semi-final.

When did Wynne Evans start cooking?

Wynne’s kitchen flair began as a child when mum Liz sent him and his brother to cookery lessons while also got tips from top TV chef Phil Vickery during his MasterChef journey.

Ena Thomas
Image caption,Former Welsh language TV chef Ena Thomas gave Wynne cooking lessons when he was a child

“I was never brilliant at rugby or football because I was the chubby kid at school,” said Wynne.

“I remember coming him in primary school and dad said “how was your day son?’ and I’d reply, the school is rubbish but the restaurant is quite good.

“So from the age of seven she started sending me to cookery lessons and I got the love of food and cooking there, which was probably detrimental to my waistline.

Phil Vickery
Image caption,Wynne got cooking tips from Phil Vickery after they became friends when the famous TV chef appeared on Wynne’s radio show

“Phil Vickery is a friend and so when I did MasterChef, I’d bounce ideas off him.”

Is Wynne Evans going to become a chef?

He said competing in MasterChef was the “most stressful thing” he’d ever done and while he feels comfortable on the stage singing, cooking is out of his comfort zone.

“When I started havening mental health issues, the only place I felt safe was in the middle the stage because I knew what I was doing,” he said.

“But in the kitchen is totally different, anything can go wrong – I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

“People are saying are you going to open a pop-up or are you going to write cookery books, I think I’ll just stick to singing.”

How did MasterChef affect Wynne’s diet?

Wynne was in the middle of a diet while filming MasterChef but said constantly cooking with food didn’t affect his weight loss regime.

Wynne Evans
Image caption,Wynne said tasting great food filming Celebrity MasterChef didn’t affect his diet

“I was 24 stone when I started so was about five stone down when I started filming MasterChef,” he said.

“But being around lush food all day didn’t affect me because I was so nervous, I didn’t feel like eating and I was on my feet all day. So all in all, I dropped seven stone in eight months.”

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