ONE of the MasterChef: The Professionals contestants from Wiltshire has made it through to the quarter finals.

Jamaar Semper, who works as a junior sous chef at the five star Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa at Colerne, survived Heat 8 which was shown on BBC One TV last night (Wednesday, December 2).

His family - mum Becky, elder sister Tichelle, 25, and three younger brothers, Jaylan, 14, Malachim, 10, and Zion, 8, were glued to the TV screen at home in Bristol watching his performance in the heat.

He will be one of the contestants in the quarter finals, which are being screened tonight (Thursday, December 3) at 9pm.

Jamaar, 22, who comes from Bristol, said: "It has been very nerve-wracking. Last night I was up against some chefs from Scotland, Wales and London.

"A lot of people thought I had been the one that was edited out because I hadn't been on screen, but I'm still there."

Mr Semper has been watching the other heats during lockdown, having been furloughed for a month.

"It has given me the chance to see what the other chefs have been doing. Today was my first day back at work for a month."

The 13th series of MasterChef: The Professionals is being filmed near the River Thames in east London.

For his heat, Mr Semper was put through a skills test to fillet and cook a John Dory fish with a garlic cream sauce and parsley puree.

For his signature dish, he cooked two courses: a fish main course and a chocolate and raspberry dessert.

"I was very nervous at the time I was doing it. It was quite intimidating because one of the judges, Marcus Wareing was watching on TV in a separate room, and the other two judges Gregg Wallace and Monica Galetti were stood next to me."

A spokesman for Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa said: “We are very excited announce that our very own junior sous chef Jamaar Semper will be competing on this year's MasterChef: The Professionals. We are very proud of him.”

Hywel Jones, executive chef at Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, said: “Jamaar’s natural talent as a chef is evident for all to see but it’s his dedication, commitment and application that sets him apart.

“At such a young age Jamaar is only beginning his career but is set for a big future in his chosen profession.”

Mr Semper is among 32 skilled chefs who are going head-to-head in a battle for the MasterChef: The Professionals trophy.

He won the South West Young Chef of the year Award in 2019 and a Royal Academy of Culinary Arts’ Annual Award of Excellence 2019 award.

Earlier this year, Mr Semper was a finalist in this year’s Craft Guild of Chefs National Young Chef of the Year competition in Exeter.

Mr Semper began training as a chef at City of Bristol College where he studied for two years as an apprentice.

His first job was at Berwick Lodge Hotel in Bristol, under chef Paul O’Neill. During his time there he was promoted to chef de partie.

He joined Luckham Park as a commis chef in October 2017 and says that when it comes to being a chef he loves that every day is different.

Mr Semper said: "I wasn't very academic at school but I enjoy the challenge of making dishes and being creative."

It’s a job he has wanted to do from a young age after helping his mum Becky Semper in the kitchen as a child.

His executive chef, Hywel Jones is his biggest inspiration. Mr Semper describes him as a fantastic mentor from who he has learned so much.

During lockdown he has been working on dish ideas and trying to improve his pastry skills as he hasn’t done much work on pastry in the past.

Mr Semper says he loves cooking classic French and Asian dishes and has ambitions to become a Michelin-starred chef in the future.

He said: "Being on MasterChef: The Professionals has been a great experience. It has given me the opportunity to cook a few of my own ideas."

In the final week of MasterChef: The Professionals 16 contestants from across the UK will compete for the title.

The 2019 MasterChef: The Professionals winner was Stu Deeley, 28, from Birmingham, who is now producing At Home menus during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.