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MasterChef star reveals truth behind her posh London restaurant closing down

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MASTERCHEF judge Monica Galetti has addressed the closure of her London restaurant after fans were heartbroken by the news.

The Samoan-born New Zealand chef announced in April “with a heavy heart” that her restaurant Mere was closing its doors after seven years.

Chef Monica Galetti is known to UK viewers as a judge in MasterChef: The Professionals

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Chef Monica Galetti is known to UK viewers as a judge in MasterChef: The ProfessionalsCredit: BBC
At last weekend's BAFTA TV Awards, Monica addressed the closure of her London restaurant Mere

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At last weekend’s BAFTA TV Awards, Monica addressed the closure of her London restaurant MereCredit: Alamy

Monica has appeared in MasterChef: The Professionals opposite Gregg Wallace since 2009 and returned in 2023 after a short break.

At the time, the restaurant’s followers on social media expressed their shock and devastation upon hearing the sad update, with one writing: “No we’ve only been once and loved it… we had hoped to be back soon.”

Another wrote: “I came to your opening night, your one year anniversary and other times since then. One of my absolute favourite restaurants. Absolutely gutted by this news.”

While a third shared: “What is going on. Marcus, Michel Jnr and now Monica 😱 is it the curse of MasterChef.”

Speaking to Metro.co.uk at last weekend’s BAFTA TV Awards, Monica shared why it was “perfect timing” for Mere to close its doors.

Monica with MasterChef co-stars Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace

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Monica with MasterChef co-stars Marcus Wareing and Gregg WallaceCredit: BBC /Shine TV

She said: “It was the perfect timing. Very fortunate that we were able to do that in a great way with our business partners and we can do our projects, our own individual projects that we wanted to focus on,’ she said.

“I think we had taken it to a point where we wanted to do different things. My business partners wanted to do different things. So you know, it was a great time for us to be able to do it.”

Monica, 48, added: “We’re very lucky. I know there’s a lot of people who suffered and lost a lot for it, but for us it was just nice that we could actually move on and focus on some exciting projects.”

At the time of the closure announcement, Mere’s Instagram account revealed to its 60,000 followers that the last day of service would be April 16.

Their statement read: “To our customers we thank you for your loyal and joyous visits,’ the statement read at the time.

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It concluded: “To our Mere team, the greatest gratitude for all your devotion, passion, love and laughter shared together, you will always be family to us. “Here’s to the next adventure!”’

While speaking at the BAFTAs, Monica also commented on her return to MasterChef following a short hiatus.

“This is my 15th year, but it’s like working with some of your greatest friends. The crew are what make it”, she shared.

“I think this time after a year out, you’ve got so much more respect for it and actually more enjoyment now”, adding she felt working on the programme feels “more relaxed” now than it had previously.

The BAFTA TV Awards are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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