New MasterChef judge Anna Howe says being asked to take part in a show that “represents so much of what I believe in as a chef” was “kind of unbelievable”.

The chef-restaurateur of the restaurant “Myrtle” in the village of Chelsea, Londonsaid she enjoys “seeing the talent blossom and grow” ahead of the popular cooking show’s 15th series.

Howe joins his colleague, Top Chef Marcus Waring as well as Greg Wallace on MasterChef: The Professionals, which is due to start again next month.

“To be asked to be a judge and a chef. It was surreal,” she said, speaking in a special introductory video ahead of the new series.

“I love this industry (and) I love seeing talent flourish and grow.

“I believe that people really become who they are meant to be when you are honest with them, and I have always tried to be that judge.

“If I’m happy and the food is delicious, you’ll see the dance on my face, but if something goes wrong and I’m disappointed, you’ll see my heart break for (the contestants).”

She added: “To be a judge on such a fantastic show that represents so much of what I believe in as a chef.

“It’s kind of unbelievable.”

Howe, who regularly performs at BBC One’s Morning Live and Saturday Kitchen, was one of the top chefs on BBC Ready Steady Cook and has also been seen on Channel 4’s Snackmasters and Royal Recipes on BBC One.

She has been cooking professionally for nearly 20 years and has worked in a number of top restaurants, including as executive chef at the opening of Gordon Ramsay’s London House restaurant.

She takes over from a fellow chef Monica Gallettiwho announced earlier this year that she was stepping down from the next series after 14 years on the jury.

MasterChef: The Professionals returns to BBC One on Wednesday 2 November.