A St Andrews chef has reached the semi-final stage of popular cooking show Masterchef: The Professionals.
27-year-old Jamie Scott, who works at Rocca Restaurant and lives in nearby Arbroath, made his first appearance on the show on 12 November, before advancing from the quarter-finals of the contest. His skills in the kitchen reportedly impressed the Masterchef judges.
Mr Scott described his first experience on the show as “phenomenal and nerve-racking at the same time.” He said: “The first walk into the kitchen was surreall – you can’t prepare for it and you don’t know what to expect.”
He also admitted that seeing the three well-known judges of the competition – Gregg Wallace, Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti – was a bit intimidating.
Despite a tendinitis problem and trip to the hospital before the show, Mr Scott handled the pressure and put in a good performance to reach the next round. The chef cooked a turbot, chicken skin and asparagus dish for the Signature Dish Test. In the Skills Test, he prepared a pork belly in a mere ten minutes. Finally, in the Invention Test, he produced an impressive pigeon dish.
Mr Scott said that he has had good support from both back home and Rocca. “My family is my biggest fan club,” he said, adding: “And the restaurant has always supported me.”
A Rocca spokesperson said: “We are excited and pleased how well [Mr Scott] is doing. He has learned so much in his three years working here. The whole team is supporting him.”
Mr Scott talked about his hopes for the rest of the competition. “I want to take each challenge as it comes, and see how far I can get while learning along the way,” he said.
Mr Scott is the third chef in the past two years with local ties to St Andrews who has enjoyed success on Masterchef: The Professionals. On last year’s show, Scott Davies, a chef at The Adamson, and Adam Handling, who worked at The Fairmont, both reached the final of the celebrated competition.
Mr Scott will make his next appearance on the BBC Two show on Tuesday 2 December, at 8 pm for the semi-finals, when he fights for a place in the next stage of the competition.