Portsmouth university graduate to star in BBC's new Young MasterChef series

A UNIVERSITY graduate will be putting her African roots on culinary display after being selected for a new series of MasterChef.
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Adriana Almeida, who graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 2021, has been selected to compete on the new spin-off cooking show Young MasterChef. The new ten-part series will be dedicated to up-and-coming young food talent between the ages of 18 and 25.

Adriana, 22, studied at the school of mechanical and design engineering, and now works as an engineer. But now, she will be hoping to cook up a storm on the BBC Three show, which begins airing on Monday, January 2.

Adriana Almeida, a University of Portsmouth graduate featuring on Young MasterChef next year. Picture: ContributedAdriana Almeida, a University of Portsmouth graduate featuring on Young MasterChef next year. Picture: Contributed
Adriana Almeida, a University of Portsmouth graduate featuring on Young MasterChef next year. Picture: Contributed
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‘I wanted to learn new things, I am so open minded and I love to meet new people so it’s so exciting to meet people who love food as much as me,’ she said.

‘I feel I have a lot to learn but I also have a lot to bring to the table and I’d love to share that.

‘It doesn’t feel real. I keep telling myself “don’t worry it’s not a big deal” to try and calm down. But it’s a huge deal – I’ve probably imagined this moment a million times over, so I thought I was prepared. But coming here and experiencing it, it’s nothing like I thought it would be.

‘I know there’s so many talented chefs out there, so I’m extremely grateful I got a chance to be here.’

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Over the competition, the young hopefuls will be put through their paces by a panel of expert judges and exciting guests as they undertake a variety of unique new challenges designed to push them to new culinary heights and reflect Britain’s food revolution – where a new generation of young foodies are rewriting the rules.

Adriana grew up in Mozambique, moving to London when she was six years old. One of her earliest food memories comes from her mother cooking chacuti – a chicken curry.

She said: ‘I think coming from a beautiful country like Mozambique is a huge advantage. Growing up with so much colour and flavour around me has reflected on the type of cook I’ve become.

‘My dinners consisted of the fish that my dad would fish for us that morning. I think there’s something really special in that.’