Superstar cook from Winslow discusses reaching MasterChef Professionals quarter finals

Aaron will be in action on BBC One this evening
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Winslow' s young superstar chef Aaron Middleton sailed through to the quarter finals of MasterChef: The Professionals yesterday evening (November 17).

The 27-year-old is back in action again tonight, looking to cook up a storm for the judges on the long-running series at 9pm on BBC One.

Aaron progressed through his heat last night, on an evening when two professional chefs were evicted, but is still taking the contest one step at a time.

Aaron Middleton (credit BBC/ShineTV)Aaron Middleton (credit BBC/ShineTV)
Aaron Middleton (credit BBC/ShineTV)

He said: "Look, there's a long way to go yet, and I'm taking it one round at a time, but to win would be amazing.

"Really, it would be great as a big thank you to my parents for all the sacrifices they made over the years, giving me lifts, doing my laundry on a Monday and then dropping it off, taking the time to help me out."

Already, Aaron has progressed through the initial heats, after being one of just 32 chefs to make it to the televised portion of this year's series.

He credits his love of food to his nan, who also lived in Winslow, every time him and his sister visited, grandma would always be baking up a treat.

Aaron in actionAaron in action
Aaron in action

Aaron said: "She was a great cook, and growing up food, was always something conversations were centred around, and a real passion in my family.

"Going back seven generations in the Middleton family, my relatives were bakers in the Steeple Claydon area. We've always cared about food."

Two years ago, at the age of 25 Aaron became the head chef for Sir Richard Branson, he's also worked in two different Michelin-starred kitchens.

He credits his fasttrack in the competitive world of cooking not just to his background, but mainly a passion and love of food.

He added: "To me it's really simple, to get good at something and thrive you really have to have a passion and love for it.

"You have to ask yourself 'why am I doing this?' 'Is it for money?' 'Is this my passion or is it a vocation?' I've always really cared about what I was doing."

As with all contestants on reality television, Aaron gets the pleasure and terror of watching himself back on the small screen while his experiences on the show are shared with millions.

So far with a place in the quarters secured, he's been loving the surreal process of seeing himself on the telly.

He said: "I watched last night with my partner and her father, my sister has been watching with her young children who've been crowding round the screen.

"It's been great. I've been speaking with family members, old friends from school have come out of the woodwork. I haven't got a call from Gramps yet, maybe he forgot, but he's 90 so we'll let him off."

Aaron was quite coy when referencing his favourite moments from MasterChef, at this stage the rising star's entire journey on the show hasn't aired, so there's still much he's sworn to secrecy over.

He said the best thing for him has been receiving feedback and getting the chance to learn from the cast of expert judges setting the challenges.

Aaron is on tonight’s MasterChef: The Professionals, tonight, 9pm, BBC One and catch up on iPlayer.