Barmouth chef, Owen Vaughan, has made it to through to the final of MasterChef: The Professionals.

Viewers of the BBC show saw the 24-year-old impress the judges once again on Friday, his efforts earning him a place in this week’s final stage of the competition.

Speaking to the Cambrian News this morning, Owen said he was “ecstatic”.

“I never dreamt I’d get this far,” he said. “I was just happy to get through the first round!”

Owen’s confidence has grown throughout the competition and viewers will be hoping his nerves hold out when the competition starts again tomorrow night, Tuesday (6 December).

Looking back on his experience so far, Owen said: “It’s a long process just to get on the show, and the pressure is always on, but the first round was the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever done. As it’s gone on, it’s become less nerve-wracking, but I do still get nervous.

“I’ve never done TV before and it’s been great. Everyone is so lovely, and I just blocked the cameras out and focussed on cooking.”

Owen said he is touched by the local support he has received whilst being on the show.

“Everyone has been lovely and I couldn’t have asked for a better response,” he said.

“I’ve had messages from all over, not just Barmouth, where I’m from, but Porthmadog, Aberystwyth, so many places. My partner, Alis Hughes, has supported me throughout so I must give her a special mention.”

Alis and Owen have a little girl who is about to turn two.

“She doesn’t know what’s going on but she will one day,” said Owen.

“We’ve got the show recorded for her to watch.”

Owen has achieved so much on the show, and there have been many highlights for him.

“When you get a decent comment from a judge, that’s a wow moment,” he explained.

“But I think going through to the semi finals and the critics round were the major highlights for me. They were the pinch me moments.”

Owen said heading to the final has been a whirlwind.

“There’s a lot to cram in and not a lot of time to think so I had to do a lot of preparation.

“There’s a lot going on and it’s tough, but also really good.”

Owen is a big fan of the show and always dreamt of being on it one day. When asked if the reality is living up to his dream, he said: “It’s been everything I ever dreamt of and more.

“Honestly, I’m ecstatic. I am happier than I look on the programme, as I keep telling everyone.

“This is one of my biggest achievements. It’s mind-blowing!”

The first Finals episode has been moved, due to the football, to tomorrow night (Tuesday , 6 December) instead of Wednesday. The show will now air at 8pm on Tuesday and Thursday, and concludes 6.15pm on Sunday. No matter what happens, Owen has already achieved his dream of being on the show, and picked up lots of fans along the way.

When asked what is next for him, Owen said: “I don’t know, but I have recently moved from Penmaenuchaf Hall to be head chef at the hotel at Portmeirion. I’ve been there about a month and I’m really enjoying it.

“In the future, the dream is to get enough money together to have my own restaurant, and my own business, but for now I’d just like to thank everyone for their support. Everyone has been so lovely and I hope I have made everyone proud.”

See Owen’s duck dish from Friday night