It is the ultimate test of culinary talent – a pressurised trial to find the country’s greatest chefs. MasterChef is a gripping glimpse into what it takes to be a truly inspiring cook – able to create masterpieces under the most intense pressure, in competition with other fabulous chefs and against the clock.

And no one knows more about that pressure than Oxfordshire chef Steven Wilson.

Steve is head chef at Soho Farmhouse – the exclusive private members club near Chipping Norton – and showed off his talents on the current series of MasterChef: The Professionals.

“It was terrifying being on the show,” says the 29 year-old who lives in the Cotswolds.

“I’d always watched from afar and after getting through I was so nervous to start filming. But I had such an incredible experience. It was unlike anything else I’ve ever done, or probably will again!

Steve said farewell to judges Gregg Wallace, Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti in the knockout round, but said it had been an amazing experience.

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Oxford Mail:

“Just getting on to MasterChef made me super proud,” he says. “I applied to be on MasterChef to try and push myself. Just to see how far I could get.

“The selection process was very tough. I never thought in a million years I would ever get on the show. And I certainly never thought I’d get as far as I did.

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Oxford Mail:

“I was so pleased to have got on the show let alone get into the final 12. It was an amazing experience and I really tested myself. It’s once in a lifetime stuff.”

He goes on: “I was gutted of course to be knocked out.

“I’d put a lot into the competition, but unfortunately I took one too many risks in the last round. My nerves got the better of me.”

“But I will take a lot of positives away from MasterChef. Being part of this taught me to stay true to my style of cooking and not to keep things simple but that too many elements on a dish can turn a great dish into one that knocks you out of MasterChef!”

Oxford Mail:

Starting off as a waiter, Steve admits he has had quite a journey to end up at the Farmhouse – part of Bampton entrepreneur Nick Jones’s £250m Soho House empire, which includes venues as far afield as Istanbul and Miami.

“It’s been a long old journey in getting to Soho Farmhouse,” he says.

“After training in France, I moved to London and worked in some incredibly career defining restaurants including Le Caprice, Scott’s and Daphnes. Having worked in London for such a long time I thought I might try a little country living. And here I am.

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“It’s going great at the Farmhouse, the team is really improving and I’m really enjoying the atmosphere at the Farm. It’s a real pleasure to work there.”

Oxford Mail:

Among the challenging creations whistled up on the show were drop scones with flambéed Suzette sauce and a segmented orange garnish, and a red mullet with cauliflower puree and tarragon and crab mayonnaise.

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So what are Steve’s signature dishes?

“I don’t really have any signature dishes as such,” he says.

“But I love to cook with seafood and fish. It’s just so versatile, and most of all, I love to eat it!”

And does he have any tips for aspiring cooks?

“My tip for aspiring cooks is just keep your head down and don’t let yourself get down about mistakes,” he says.

“Mistakes are good.”