A CHEF with a taste for the wild is fast becoming a culinary TV star.

James Burton has been dazzling judges to win a place in the finals of a top-rated show.

And all next week the foraging Yorkshireman will battle it out in the closing stages of MasterChef: The Professionals, starting on Monday at 8pm on BBC 2.

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The 33-year-old former Darlington College catering student will be judged by top chef - and holder of two Michelin stars - Michel Roux Jr and expert Gregg Wallace in a programme that attracts millions of viewers.

The 33-year-old, originally from Catterick Village but now living at Wall in Northumberland, hopes to impress them with his alternative view of cooking.

He uses his intricate knowledge of foraging the land for many of the ingredients which make his dishes special and unique.

“Foraging, when it is done right, is brilliant and I love to see things being done differently,” said James, who runs consultancy Vallum Cooking.

“I was pushed to do the competition by friends and have ended up in the final. I’ve loved it.

“I was more nervous about going to London and having to use the Tube than I was about the cooking. A lot of the skills tests I hadn’t done since Darlington College but it has been fine.”

Read all about James’ unique view of cooking in Weekend supplement on Saturday in The Northern Echo.