French foodie Arnaud Kaziewicz grew up in Le Mans and grew up catching crayfish in the Loire Valley. Age 14, he decided he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather who had cooked for a president and his uncle who owns a restaurant in New York. Instead, he ended up in Cheltenham working for David and Helen Everitt-Matthias at the two Michelin starred restaurant, Le Champignon Sauvage and went on to open his own bakery The Real Artisan Bakery in Bristol for several years. He recently relocated to take up a post at Donatantonio in Borehamwood where he is head of food development. Now Arnaud is down to the final ten in MasterChef: The Professionals. Arnaud got married last year and made his own wedding cake - it took him 12 hours, his wife Marie-Claire is expecting a baby. He talks to Melanie Anglesey

What will you be cooking for Christmas dinner?

I've planned my Christmas dinner already, I've got a menu, normally what we do in France is have two starters, then a main with a salad and vegetables, dessert and petit fours. This year I'm going to do a Beef Wellington with ceps and porcini mushrooms instead of a pat and with souffle potato with choux pastry and mash mixed together.

For the starters I'm doing crab tortellini, then we'll have oysters and monkfish in spicy tomato sauce as well. I make all my own chocolate as well.

Has your wife made any special food requests?

She is expecting any moment now actually, she likes the pommes dauphine, souffle potato, if she can have that with mashed potato that's what she likes.

What is your first food memory?

When I was a child my parents used to go to the farm in the winter to buy the meat, they'd choose the pig and and the butcher would slaughter it and slice it into all the cuts and we'd take it all home and freeze it. My strongest memory of food is the first time I had pine nuts. I was seven and we went for lunch and I had a little log of goat's cheese on sourdough with lettuce and I remember the flavour of pine nuts and it was just the best thing ever. It was something very new and I like simple food so all my memories are based around fresh meat and my mum always used to make pates and rilettes, I still remember the smell of the pate being made at home.

Who taught you the most in the kitchen?

David Everitt-Matthias at Le Champignon Sauvage. I was sous chef there for two and a half years. I'd worked in one Michelin stars before but I learned how to push things to a level above and work better. I was a customer beforehand, I used to go every week for lunch and I remember the smell of the food when you went into the restaurant and they were doing three course lunches for £17.50 and I thought wow! How do you do that with two Michelin stars, I thought, I've got to work here.

You work in food development in an average day what would you be doing?

I work for a food importer that's been established since 1902 by a dissident family. They are the largest importer of pasta in the UK. My job is to advise them as to what they should buy, what they could do with it and the quality as well. On a typical day if we need a new olive oil I'd be doing a tasting with the commercial team it might be for Buckingham Palace as we supply them or a chain of cafes or restaurant. I was recently in Italy looking at flavours for a particular chain and I was in Paris a few weeks ago at a worldwide food show or I could be in South America if they need chilli peppers. Then I go and see the customers and cook a tasting menu for them.

What are your favourite foods?

I love Italian food, I love French food obviously but I do eat pasta almost every day. I love white truffles and I could put them everywhere. My wife really hates it but if I could afford it I'd put white truffle everywhere.

Where do you like to eat in London?

I went to Barrafina in Covent Garden for Spanish tapas which was nice. I'm a massive fan of Pierre Koffmann. I really like Sketch patisserie, it's out of this world and I like Pollen Street Social as well, which is very, very good.

If there's one thing you've take away from your experience of being on MasterChef: The Professionals what would it be?

I've learned as long as you can keep the pressure down and you can concentrate and really focus you can do anything.

MasterChef: The Professionals, airs Tuesdays to Thursdays, 8pm, BBC Two