THE Head Chef of an extremely popular restaurant in Somerset has featured on hit BBC cooking show, MasterChef: The Professionals.

Chef Patron Ayesha creates exquisite middle-eastern inspired dishes at the Queen of Cups gastropub in Glastonbury.

Her restaurant was recently awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand and was shortlisted for 'best newcomer' at the Estrella Damm Top 100 Gastropubs 2023.

Still only 32, Ayesha's incredible culinary skills have been recognised (and enjoyed) by many, including the MasterChef judges, as she was named the 'standout chef' for her dishes.

“My style is modern Middle Eastern, but far from classic," she said.

"It's my own interpretation of my heritage.

"It's how I connect to who I am - it's fun, flavour filled, unexpected, and joyous.

"Some dishes may look traditional, but then you taste them and realise there are flavours you may have never had.

"My pantry is different to a lot of other chefs’ - my style is unconventional and I refuse to be anything but unabashedly myself."

Ayesha explained how although it was a lifelong dream of hers, she didn't feel ready to compete on MasterChef, but decided to take the plunge anyway to further progress in her career.

She believes her caring and laid-back attitudes set her apart from other chefs.

“I’d always wanted to take part in the competition but was never sure I was ready," she said.

"Now I have grown into my cooking and my career and it's the right time for me to push forward.

"I wear leopard-print chef trousers and glittery Birkenstocks and my eyeliner is always exquisitely drawn – so I want to prove that you can be yourself and still be a chef! 

"I’m kind and caring and I want to show that you can be a nice person in the kitchen and still be successful.”

Ayesha competed in Heat One of Week Four on Monday 13 November, and successfully made it through to the next round of the competition.

The full episode can be viewed for free on BBC iPlayer.