Who is chef Nikita Pathakji, MasterChef: The Professionals 2022 winner?

Alex South

Alex South


Nikita Pathakji has been named MasterChef: The Professionals winner 2022.

Introducing Nikita Pathakji, junior sous chef at Kitchen W8.

She previously worked at Lanesborough Hotel, Claude Bosi at Bibendum, Core By Clare Smyth and cites Phil Howard and Mark Kempson as some of her role models. 





Where are you from/where do you live?

I grew up in Derby, and moved to London when I decided to become a Chef

What type of a chef are you?

I’ve been classically trained in fine dining restaurants but I love using Asian flavours in my own cooking

Do you have a favourite type of cuisine?

To eat Sichuan, Thai, Indian, and I like to cook with those flavours but apply modern, fine dining techniques.

How did you become a chef?

I went to Westminster Kingsway College and did a apprenticeship. So I worked 4 days a week and went to college once a week.

I learnt to cook the basics from my parents. Cooking was something we always did as a family.

Food has always been the focus of the household.

Where have you worked?

My first job was at the Lanesborough hotel.

I was on the afternoon tea section, which meant for the first few months of my career and made sandwiches. I then moved into the hotel kitchen, pastry section and eventually upstairs to the Michelin starred restaurant called Celeste.

I then worked at Claude Bosi at Bibendum, mainly on the pastry section and I certainly got to make my fair share of soufflés.

After Bibendum, I went to Core by Clare Smyth. This is where tweezers were made to be a part of my hand I now work at Kitchen W8 as the Junior Sous Chef.

I really found my home in this restaurant and I’ve learnt so much from the head chef, Mark Kempson.

Who are your mentors/role models/people you look up to?

The chefs I most look up to are Phil Howard and Mark Kempson. I’ve followed Phil Howard’s career for a long time and I really respect his philosophy and how he believes kitchen environments should be.

This is why I work in one of his restaurants, and have consequently found an incredible mentor in head chef, Mark Kempson, who has taught me so much about creating and evolving dishes to respect the seasonality, as well as game cookery and traditional training on all the sections of a kitchen.

My mum has also taught me a lot about food and restaurants, she’s the reason I got into fine dining scene.

What is your guilty pleasure dish?

I love trifle but like trashy trifle my mum used to make when I was kid. Swiss roll from the shops, tinned raspberries, Hartley’s raspberry jelly, Birds custard and whipped cream.

What is the best thing / worst thing about being a chef?

The worst thing about being a chef is that it’s physically exhausting, harsh environments with antisocial hours. But the feeling when people enjoy food you’ve created, it’s the best feeling.





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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 11th December 2022

Who is chef Nikita Pathakji, MasterChef: The Professionals 2022 winner?