The British Jamaican comedian and star of “Loose Woman,” Judi Love, was named the winner of Celebrity MasterChef for 2021. In the competition, she defeated reality star Joey Essex, a professional dancer featured on the television program “Strictly Come Dancing” Oti Mabuse, former football star Neil Ruddock, and English actor and singer/songwriter Su Pollard, and took home one of the two MasterChef trophies for the year.
Earlier in 2021, Love was eliminated from the “Strictly Come Dancing” competition in its fifth round, but her reputation was enhanced with her victory in the BBC One first Celebrity MasterChef Christmas Cook-Off. Her winning entry was a Christmas dinner with a Caribbean theme: a rolled turkey breast stuffed with jerk seasoning, accompanied by parsnip puree, carrots, stuffing, roast potatoes, and cranberry and scotch bonnet pepper jam. The jam was singled out by Judge Gregg Wallace as “fantastic.” Following the two-hour and 15-minute challenge, Love presented a traditional Christmas Jamaican Black Cake with a sauce made of sorrel and served with a stout and Rum Punch ice cream that Judge John Torode said should be manufactured.
The celebrities were required to experience the competition’s critical invention test in which they had a mandate to create a dish using the ingredients found in a Christmas advent calendar.
After being crowned the winner, Chef Love said, “Bring on the prosecco and let’s start this party. I am so excited; my kids and family are going to be so happy.” She added that she was overwhelmed by her victory, stating that it was a beautiful feeling and “made my Christmas.”
Commenting on her win on Twitter, Love posted, “Winner, Champion of @MasterChefUK Christmas Special 2021! #JudiLove All I can do is cook from my heart! The food I was raised up with. My parents were Jamaican-born, and they loved to show love with food. And that’s what I did tonight!! Thank you @GreggAWallace @JohnTorode1.”
Judi Love was born in 1980 in Hackney, London, to Jamaican parents and is the youngest of five children. She grew up in East London and earned a degree in Community Arts and Social Science and a master’s degree in social work from the Tavistock Institute. She made her professional debut as a standup comedian in 2011. She currently appears as a panelist on “Loose Women,” a talk show on ITV. She was previously a finalist on MasterChef, appearing on the show in July of 2020.