WHEN he first stepped foot in the MasterChef kitchen, making the semi-finals was the aim for Liam Rogers.
But after making the finals of the popular BBC TV series, the Stockton Heath chef is preparing to make the dishes of his life to be crowned the champion.
Finals week begins tonight, Tuesday, with Liam among six contenders competing for a place at the infamous Chef’s Table, cooking for eight of the country’s most acclaimed chefs.
Speaking ahead of the show airing on BBC One, the 25-year-old says winning would mean ‘everything’ to him and make putting in all the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ worth it.
“It feels incredible to be in the final. I honestly never thought I would make it this far. It is a bit surreal to actually be here, but it feels good,” said the former Warrington and Vale Royal College catering and hospitality student.
“I set myself a goal to get to the semi-finals, as I wanted to get through the early rounds to showcase some of my cooking, but as soon as I got to the semi-final, I just wanted more and more and more.
“To be crowned the winner would mean everything. I have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the competition so far and it has been my full focus.
“It has absorbed my life, my time off, my personal time and it has taken over everything. Winning would make it worth all the missed parties and other things you miss out on to become a chef, and it would mean a hell of a lot.”
The semi-finals saw Liam leave the relative comfort of the MasterChef kitchen and visit a micro-brewery in East London for a pop-up event based around street food.
He created an Indian-inspired menu which was received really well, before heading back to the MasterChef kitchen.
Liam, who works at The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland as a sous chef, says his confidence has rocketed since the first episode thanks to some amazing feedback.
“My confidence is massively up, and some of the feedback from critics and the judges in the competition so far has been incredible,” he continued.
“They have sung my praises in some parts, and on the other hand, the criticisms I have been getting have been rightful. I have taken them on board and can hopefully use that in the finals to win.
“I have been watching this show since I was tiny, and it has inspired me to become a chef. Going all the way and winning it would be pretty special.”
Whatever the outcome. Liam is aiming on ‘doing his own thing’ next year, cooking his own dishes for people that want to eat his food.
“Now I have the exposure of being on TV, you get a lot more people wanting to eat your own food,” he added.
“That is why I am going to try and do pop-ups and little private events and food festivals – something I have never done before but that excites me.”
The finals of MasterChef: The Professionals will be aired tonight, Tuesday, tomorrow and on Thursday, all at 9pm on BBC One.