SHE’S been dubbed TV scariest woman but there’s one thing Monica Galetti can’t face a deep-fried Mars bar.
The MasterChef favourite is a star attraction at this week’s Edinburgh TV Festival.
She’ll also be celebrating her 40th birthday while in the capital but she knows the one dish she dreads eating.
“I had a deep-fried Mars bar once and if I was giving it a score, it’d be a zero,” said Monica.
“It wasn’t great. The taste was awful. In fact everything about it was wrong so I definitely don’t want to be be near another one.
“I’m told the MasterChef team are taking me out for a bit of a surprise meal for my birthday.
“I’ve hinted that I want a table at Tom Kitchin’s restaurant and that’s sure to be better.”
New Zealand-born Monica landed a job at Michel Roux’s famous Le Gavroche restaurant after coming to the UK.
And as his trusted right hand woman the top chef since replaced on the BBC show by Marcus Wareing introduced her on to MasterChef: The Professionals alongside Gregg Wallace. Her tough talking and fearsome facial expressions have induced fear in even battle-hardened chefs.
“I’m really not always like that and I do try not to be so scary anymore,” said Monica, who has a nine-year-old daughter with husband David, whom she met at Le Gavroche.
“A lot of people tell me I’m much nicer in person but then I’m not going to yell at a complete stranger.
“That’s work mode. Being a soft female chef is not going to get things done.
“When you are running a brigade of 17 lads you step up to it. And when it’s time to get your head down and work I expect them to give their best.”
There will be an exclusive showing of the first episode of the new series of MasterChef: The Professionals at Edinburgh Filmhouse on Wednesday as part of the TV Festival’s 40th anniversary year.
Monica will be taking part in a Q&A on the show and says her biggest bugbear is careless chefs.
“I really get upset when they have a total lack of respect for their ingredients.
“If you have a fish it’s a beautiful thing and you can damage it by filleting it badly. You need to have respect.”
Monica is also used to chefs cracking under the heat of the TV kitchen.
“We get experienced people who suddenly can’t even boil a potato,” she adds.
“It’s all right sitting at home shouting at the telly but then they get in there and the pressure gets to them. They forget even their most basic skills.
“We get more men, as they have more bravado, while women are a bit more cautious.
“But we’ve had some phenomenal talent this year.”
Tickets from www.filmhousecinema.com