THROUGHOUT his appearances on a national television programme, a 34-year-old chef from Chudleigh has demonstarted his culinary prowess: so much so that he’s among the final eight.

James Checkley, who is the Head Chef at The Gallery Restaurant in Topsham, has been rubbing shoulders with fellow culinarians on the latest series of the BBC’s MasterChef: The Professionals.

It was on Monday, November 28, that James made it through the first semi final stage, having previously fought off competitors in the initial heat and then quarter final respectively.

But James must now once again step up to the plate if he is to make it to the final.

Tonight, Thursday, December 1, James will be back on the airwaves, beamed into the front rooms of many a household, as the second semi final stage is set to begin and you butter believe the former head chef at the Paschoe House Hotel, Crediton, is hoping to rise to the top.

‘My interest in cooking stems from watching my parents run a pub, which served great food.

‘I was then inspired by many chefs to start my own career.

‘I love the freedom, creativity, and the joy that food brings’ James said.

‘I applied to the series to push myself and to learn.

‘I also wanted to put my food in front of the judges to gain as much experience as I could’ James added.

Now in its 15th series, MasterChef: The Professionals brings together 32 chefs, brimming with zeal, for a competition to determine the cream of the crop.

The Finals are on next week Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday