James presented his dish on the second day of auditions, a crispy pork belly with lentil hash. Graham noted that although the lentils needed more seasoning, the usage of the pork belly was creative and simple, and a yes for him. Joe doubted early on that James had the fight in him, resulting in a no. Gordon is eventually persuaded to give James a yes. James made it to the MasterChef kitchen through his preformance in the lamb challenge. His dish was not shown.
For the first mystery box, James made a potato and bacon frittata, being one of the three chefs to make a frittata. His was not selected in the top 3, much to his surprise. James expressed confidence when Natasha chose langoustine to be the star of the dish in the eliminiation challenge, having had it before and knowing its properties. His dish was not shown.
James was the second cook chosen by Jordan for his team in the first team challenge. James was assigned to cook the green beans for the school lunches. He was unable to get the beans cooked in time, but Jordan still saved him from the Pressure Test.