A TALENTED young chef who works at a Troon hotel tasted success after competing in a top TV cookery show.

Millions of viewers watched Sagar Massey, 23, impressing the show's judges with his culinary skills as he fought it out against three other cooks in a bid to reach the quarter-finals of MasterChef: The Professionals.

Over six weeks, contestants will be put through their culinary paces as they are whittled down til the last chef standing claims the prestigious title.

The senior sous chef, from Johnstone and who works at the prestigious The Rabbit Restaurant at Marine Troon, described the BBC One show as “the biggest culinary challenge” he has faced.

He said: “It’s the top competition in the UK. I have watched closely over the years at how successful previous contestants have become and I wanted to experience it for myself.

“I wanted to test my skill level as well and get feedback on my cooking style from the culinary masters – the judges.”

Sagar was previously a commis chef at the Martin Wishart restaurant, in Loch Lomond, and also worked at the Isle of Eriska Hotel, near Oban.

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He trained at West College Scotland’s Paisley campus and enjoys cooking Indian-style food using Scottish and British ingredients.

Sagar said: “Some of my proudest moments in my professional life so far are working in a Michelin star restaurant, winning the Young UK Seafood Chef of the Year 2018 and Gold Medal in Young Scottish Chef of the Year 2019.

“My mum and dad were my inspiration for getting into cooking.

“I love every single bit of cooking and the never-ending creations you can produce with food.

“Influences on my cooking style are from my childhood food memories from India and my mum and dad’s food.”

In the first heat, which screen on November 16, Sagar had two chances to impress the judges – first in the notorious ‘skills test’ and then in the ‘signature menu’ cook-off.

Sagar successfully cooked against three other chefs to secure a spot in the quarter-final, eliciting compliments for his calm under pressure and firm grasp of fine dining technique.

His efforts were critiqued by acclaimed chef Anna Haugh, Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing and MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace.