CHARIYA Khattiyot has been named as the Champion of Masterchef 2023. 

The 40-year-old contestant, who lived in Farnborough during filming but now lives in Basingstoke, has gone from master coffee roaster to MasterChef Champion.

She is now the 19th amateur cook to claim the coveted title on BBC One’s prestigious cooking competition.

Chariya triumphed at the end of eight exciting weeks of MasterChef culinary challenges, which culminated in a cook-off against the remaining finalists, 41-year-old Anurag Aggarwal and 31-year-old Omar Foster.

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Chariya was awarded the revered MasterChef trophy by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

An emotional Chariya reacted to her win: "This is unbelievable. It means the world, the sun, the moon and everything to me. I don’t think anything can top this. I’m so happy!

"This just proves that if you dream something and you work really hard and you never give up, you can get it. That’s what my grandad said to me – never give up. He would be so proud of me!"

Judge John Torode said: "Chariya’s food has always been honest and from the heart. It’s always exciting, it’s always unusual and it’s always been beautiful and addictive.

"And not just punchy, exciting Thai flavours that we saw at the start, but also exceptional, innovative and exciting technique all the way through. A proper master."

Judge Gregg Wallace, said: "Chariya is outstanding and one of the best MasterChef contestants I can remember. Chariya has delighted and amazed me in equal measure.

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"Some of her creations are absolutely beautiful - almost with an artist’s touch. She is one of the most creative, skilful cooks I’ve seen on MasterChef for a long, long time."

Speaking ahead of the last cook-off, Chariya said: "From a little girl who cooked in a kitchen with no walls, to lift that trophy is going to be the story I can tell to inspire a lot of girls who have a hard life.

"If you work really hard, I’m sure you can achieve something."

Chariya’s winning menu started with a Thai lotus tuille, filled with coconut jelly, fried king prawns, and pomelo fruit salad, flavoured with Honey, palm sugar and coconut.

On tasting it, Gregg said: "That’s fabulous. That’s a delicate little morsel, packing a very big punch."Basingstoke Gazette: Chariya made it through the first semi-final stage on Tuesday

For her main course, Chariya served a traditional Northern Thai "Khantoke" sharing platter of wagyu sirloin steak in hung lay curry sauce, minced lamb in a spicy tomato and shrimp paste, jackfruit and scallop salad, sticky rice and scallop crisp crackers – to which

John responded with: "I could eat that all day long."

Chariya finished her menu with her take on Strawberries and Cream - a strawberry jelly and vanilla cremeux ring, filled with macerated strawberries in strawberry liqueur, pistachio sponge, strawberry shards and a strawberry and Thai basil sauce.

Gregg told Chariya: "Since the first time you walked into this kitchen, it’s been dish upon dish of exciting, beautiful food.

"What I really admire about you is just how hard you work in pursuit of perfection - to really uncover new technique, to find bigger and bigger flavour. Do you know who else has those qualities? Top professional chefs. You are the real deal. You’re an amazing cook."