Born in Samoa and brought up in Wellington, New Zealand, Chef Monica Galetti moved to Britain in 1999 to work alongside Michel Roux Jnr at the two Michelin starred, Le Gavroche in London. She became a household name in 2008 when she joined the BBC1 team as a judge on Masterchef:The Professionals and more recently, has gone on to co-present two series of BBC2’s Amazing Hotels – Life Beyond the Lobby.
She opened her first restaurant, Mere, in Fitzrovia, London alongside her sommelier husband David in March 2017.
She is the author of two books, Monica’s Kitchen and The Skills.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Samoa and moved to New Zealand when I was 8 years old. We lived in Wellington.
What inspired you to become a Chef?
I was always very artistic and creative and wanted to travel the world. Becoming a chef was only natural.
Why did you get interested in cuisine?
I loved the creative side of food and the ethos to make people happy.
What makes Pacific cuisine unique and special?
The flavours of the Pacific Islands whether through the ingredients such as taro and coconut milk to the way it is prepared and cooked.
Can you share your favorite Pacific recipe?
Raw fish, coconut milk, lemon juice, diced celery, tomato, cucumber
Can you tell us about any farmers you work with, from who you buy your ingredients?
Lake District in the UK sources the best produce for me from the local farmers.
Any experiences on tourists' appreciation about your work?
We are very fortunate at Mere to attract customers from all over the world, maybe due to my public profile and they love the experience that we offer from front of house to dining.
What is your personal mission?
To rule the world and eat lots of oysters.
Can you tell us what you are most excited about right now?
Absolutely, we are in December I love everything about Christmas. The restaurant is busy and my team is doing fantastic job. I am very lucky with my team. The latest series MasterChef the Professionals is currently on at the moment and there is always a big buzz about who the next winner is. Also Giles Coren and I filmed an Amazing Hotels Christmas Special which will be on air in few weeks.