Top Manchester restaurant James Martin Manchester will soon have more than one famous chef in its kitchen.
Chef de partie Exose Lopo-Ndinga, who trained at South Trafford College, will appear on national TV this week as a contestant on hit BBC show MasterChef: The Professionals.
It’s the second time Exose has appeared on a national TV cookery competition, having also been on Channel 4’s Bake Off: The Professionals earlier this summer.
“I’ve always felt most at home in the kitchen,” says Exose, who from a young age was intrigued and inspired by the dishes his mum Marie-Claire prepared at home in Chorlton.
“It’s where I come alive. It’s no surprise to my family that I ended up becoming a chef. Though they’ve been quite taken aback to see me appearing on the telly!”
Exose joined the close-knit team at James Martin Manchester at Manchester235 Casino four years ago and has since worked his way up to chef de partie and head of pastry. Earlier this year he won chef of the Year 2019 at the Caesars Entertainment Chef & Bartender Awards.
The young chef describes Bake Off: The Professionals as “an amazing experience” but says he’s always had his heart set on MasterChef: The Professionals.
“I saw the advert for this series and decided it was time to apply. I completed the application form at 10pm and got a call the very next morning – it was a dream come true and I was so thrilled to be picked to appear on the show,” he says.
“It comes as no surprise that Exose is making a name for himself,” says James Martin.
“He is an extremely talented and creative chef who is hard working and always ready to learn. We’re all very proud of him here at James Martin Manchester and look forward to following his MasterChef journey!”
“It’s an incredible experience,” says Exose about the show.
“I know it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity so I hope I can stay focused and showcase my very best dishes.”
Exose will appear on MasterChef: The Professionals at 8pm on BBC One from Tuesday 26th November.