Long Clawson's Marianne Lumb cooks for Michel Roux Jnr

THURSDAY 2PM: A Long Clawson chef is battling it out against some top cooks in a bid to work for Michelin starred Michel Roux Jnr.

Marianne Lumb (34) is a private chef working in London and last week made it through to the semi-finals of BBC Two's Masterchef: The Professionals.

Watch Marianne in action in the quater finals

But the chef to the stars still credits her roots in the Rural Capital of Food for some of her succcess.

She said: "I'm very happy I have come from Melton with its pork pies and Stilton cheese. It is great to see Melton Mowbray pork pies in London and Stilton is obviously famous worldwide.

"My dad was a butcher so we always had good ingredients at home and there is a really high standard of food in the area. I was always keen on cooking but I decided to go into architecture."

Marianne completed a year studying architecture before realising her true calling and went into cooking, working in Grimston, Nottingham and then Michelin-starred Gravetye Manor in Sussex.

She now works as a freelance chef cooking for rock stars, racing drivers, politicians and more and travelling the globe to work in New York, Sydney as well as squeezing in teaching at Leith's School of Food and Wine.

And she somehow found time to write her first book Kitchen Knife Skills which she finished just in time to start filming Masterchef.

She said: "It's been a busy old time. It's really scary cooking for Michel but he is a fantastic man, he gets the best out of you and is really inspiring.

"It has been a complete roller coaster, the toughest most grueling test I've done. But it was definitely worth it.

"Watching it back is also really scary but it is edited very well. I remember at one point not being able to hold my knife properly I was so nervous and they have caught that perfectly."

Marianne had to impress Monica Galetti, Michel's sous chef, by shucking three oysters and making an omlette in the skills and taste test before being allowed to cook for the legend himself.

After being described as an 'absolute shoo-in' to cook for Michel, she prepared a quail salad with sage pancetta and mushrooms and a roast quail with herb pollenta and Madeira both praised by the double-starred chef.

But she now has an even tougher competition on her hands when she cooks in the semi-final on October 12

Proud mum Anthea Brown, who lives in Long Clawson, said: "She lives a very exciting, busy life in London.

"My mother and sister come over from Hose to watch the show and we all sit watching Masterchef. It's very exciting but also nervous."

Ambitious Marianne doesn't intend resting on her laurels just yet and hopes to do more TV in the future.

She said: "I really want to do some TV, Masterchef is my first taste of a big programme and I really enjoy the process.

"I don't think there are enough women in TV at the moment and I think I could bring something unique.

"I also really want to run my own restaurant at some point.

I've got some big plans, but they are top secret at the moment."

To watch Marianne in action in her second episode on Masterchef: The Professionals visit www.bbc.co.uk

Marianne's book, Kitchen Knife Skills, teaches a range of techniques from slicing an onion to boning a chicken and preparing a rack of lamb.

It is available, priced 14.99, from Wil Scott on (020) 7284 7166 or from www.amazon.co.uk

NERVEWRACKING: Marianne Lumb, originally from Long Clawson, on BBC Two's Masterchef: The Professionals

CHEF: Marianne Lumb is a freelance cook who has worked across the globe PHOTO: Supplied