In conversation with Jaamar Semper - Masterchef Semifinalist
Apprentice turned Masterchef!
Jamaar, by his own admission, struggled at school. But through a combination of his mum, who led him to explore cooking at home and teachers who recognised his engagement and enthusiasm for the subject, Jamaar left school aged 16 and started a chef apprenticeship with study at Bristol City College.
Jamaar is currently Junior Sous Chef at Michelin Starred Lucknam Park Hotel Restaurant and earlier this year was a Masterchef semifinalist at the age of 22.
In this conversation, we follow Jamaar's journey from school, where a desire to work professionally with food drove him to buckle down and work closely with his teachers to achieve the grades that he required for college entrance. Thus proving the importance of destination and context to student engagement.
For the last three years, Jamaar has worked under Hywel Jones, Head chef at Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa who has held a Michelin Star here since 2006. Hywel has a reputation for spotting talent and promoting it through Masterchef, with three previous chefs also reaching Masterchef finals. The head chef stating "Jamaar's natural talent as a chef is evident for all to see, but it's his dedication, commitment and application that sets him apart".
Jamaar had entered and experienced success since his earliest days at college when he won South West Chef of the Year at apprentice level and later in the professional chef category. This prepared him well for his appearance earlier this year in MasterChef, where he was the youngest contender in the competition and reached the semi-final.
Chef Jones is demonstrating his confidence in Jamaar's ability by handing the Michelin Starred restaurant over for two evenings for 'An Evening with Jamaar Semper' an opportunity for Jamaar to lead the kitchen for two evenings on 19th and 26th of May, presenting a menu that he has designed and will supervise on the evening.
This is the first of two podcasts over five days covering two personal journeys from school to professional kitchens, demonstrating the breadth and range of design and technology education.
Remember the name, Jamaar is a star in the making!