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Monica Galetti is best known for her role as one of the judges on the spin-off to MasterChef, which tests the abilities of some of the most experienced chefs in the country. Galetti has years of experience in some of the top restaurants in the UK and she opened her own restaurant with her husband David a few years ago. Fans are keen to find out where the chef is from, and Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
Where is MasterChef judge Monica Galetti from?
Galetti is known for taking part in a number of different food programmes and she is also one of the faces of Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby.
The chef joined the MasterChef team back in 2009 and fans of the cooking competition series have learned a lot from the chef-proprietor.
In 2017 she opened Mere, a critically acclaimed restaurant in London, alongside her husband David who is a wine expert.
The mother-of-one was born in Samoa – which is an island country in the continent of Oceania, made up of a number of different islands.
Samoa is in the same region as islands such as Fiji and New Caledonia, and on a map it is not too far from Australia and New Zealand.
Galetti was raised by her two aunts in Samoa as her mother had moved to New Zealand for work, with the chef herself moving to there when she was eight.
She lived with her parents and siblings and after completing her studies in hospitality, she took part in a number of cooking competitions across the globe.
She was keen on working in London and was snapped up by top chef Michel Roux Jr, meaning she moved to the UK in 1999 and quickly worked her way up the ranks.
The chef is proud of her Samoan roots and she is a UK Tourism Ambassador for her home country. Her heritage plays an important part in her culinary creations and she has adapted some Pacific dishes to suit all tastes.
She admitted moving away from New Zealand and leaving her friends and family behind was one of the toughest decisions she has had to make.
Galetti said it was a huge culture shock moving from Samoa to New Zealand as she had been used to tropical weather and small community life, and she had to adapt to a new way of living.
In an interview with National Geographic, she said she did not take very well to sweet foods at first, saying: “I remember my brother would put sugar on sweet cereals, which I thought was disgusting; I still can’t eat sweet cereal.”
She went from being able to pick fruits and vegetables from trees in the garden to having to visit a supermarket or eat food from a packet.
Galetti said in Samoa all of her meals were homemade, and refrigerated foods were considered a luxury in the 70s. She said even to this day she is unable to eat frozen produce, as she grew up on fresh foods.
Her heritage influenced the menu for the restaurant she opened with her husband, and it is mixed with some French flare as David is French.
Although she loves the hustle and bustle of her London restaurant, the 45-year-old said her dream day would be spent with her husband and daughter back home in New Zealand.
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When she is able to, she still visits Samoa for the Teuila Festival, which is in September, and the Teuila is the national flower.
The festivities include plenty of dancing and food, and it reminds Galetti of living in the Savai’i region of western Samoa, where her family owned a beach house.
She has made sure to bring some of her cooking techniques from Samoa and New Zealand across to the UK, including Maori, which is a New Zealand cooking method.
Food is buried and steamed underground, and she said it was a great method to try as something unique and different.
One of her favourite places in the UK is Cornwall, as she said the coastline reminds her of being back in New Zealand.
Forever remembering her Samoan and New Zealand heritage, she has a tattoo on her arm featuring two canoes, which represent her parents.
There is a centipede to represent her four brothers and birds represent her two sisters. Arrows have been added to describe the vast journey she has taken across the world.
She described Samoa as being an untouched island, and it is known for its natural beauty compared to other islands which have adapted to modern ways of life.
Galetti visited Samoa to witness her mother becoming a Samoan chief, and she said it was very emotional seeing all the villagers coming together to bless her family.
MasterChef: The Professionals airs on BBC One
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