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'MasterChef Professionals' winner crowned

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MasterChef winner Claire Lara

© BBC

Gregg Wallace and Michel Roux Jr have crowned the new winner of MasterChef: The Professionals.

30-year-old Claira Lara took home the title last night, beating David Coulson and John Calton at the final hurdle.

Lara found out she was pregnant after taking part in the show and credited some of her success to her heightened sense of smell.

The Merseyside chef told PA: "I think being pregnant gave me an advantage. It heightened my sense of smell and taste. I felt so sick and was vomiting each day but I put it down to stress on the show as David was feeling the same. But obviously, he wasn't pregnant!"

Speaking about being the first female winner, she said: "It feels brilliant, but at the time I didn't know I was the first female winner. Men have definitely dominated. I feel quite proud. Hopefully other young female chefs will be inspired to go on."

Explaining their final verdict, judge Wallace said: "Claire has unbelievable talent; an indication of what is possible if you devote yourself to the pursuit of perfection. This is a person who has lived nothing but food for the last fifteen years with incredible results."

Roux Jr added: "I think she's the most complete chef that I've come across. Not just in the MasterChef context, but anywhere, in the last five years. We started off the competition looking for a talent and we have uncovered a diamond... She has that exceptional talent that will take her to stardom."

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