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 at the Myrtle restaurant in Chelsea, London, said she enjoyed “seeing the talent blossom and grow” ahead of series 15 of the popular cookery show.

Howe joins fellow Top Chef star Marcus Wareing as well as Greg Wallace on MasterChef: The Professionals, which is due to start 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.

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Anna Howe said being asked to appear on the popular cookery show was “kind of unbelievable” (BBC/PA)

“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.

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Howe has been cooking professionally for almost 20 years and has worked in a number of top restaurants (BBC/PA)

“It’s kind of unbelievable.”

A regular on BBC One’s Morning Live and Saturday Kitchen, Howe was one of the main chefs on BBC’s Ready Steady Cook and has also been seen on Channel 4’s Snackmasters and BBC One’s Royal Recipes.

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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 fellow chef Monica Galetti, who announced earlier this year that she was stepping down from her role in the next series after 14 years on the judging panel.

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