A COTSWOLD chef will showcase his skills against the best in the country tonight after passing his first screen test with flying colours.

Dave John Hall, from Whistlers in Chipping Norton, qualified from Tuesday's heat of MasterChef: The Professionals, and will compete in the quarter-finals on BBC Two at 8pm.

He faces an invention test, where he will cook from a set larder of ingredients, before producing a dish for food critics Jay Rayner, William Sitwell and Amol Rajan.

Mr Hall will be working when the show is broadcast and cannot reveal how he got on, but admitted the programme would be on in the kitchen at Whistlers.

He was one of three chefs in his heat to reach the quarter-finals and said the judges' compliments had already impacted his work.

He said: "I wasn't perfect and the feedback has actually influenced how I construct my dishes now.

"To get great feedback is exactly what I wanted."

The head chef impressed judges in his heat with his signature dish, poached and roasted chicken breast, crispy chicken wing, truffled cauliflower cheese, with spatzle, asparagus and lemon dressing.

But the first challenge, a skills test where he produced oysters rockefeller, did not go down so well.

Mr Hall said: "It was an absolute disaster.

"I've never made them because oysters are not something we do here.

"I thought I was going home - I had pretty much packed my bags even before hearing the results."