Gary Mclean, the senior chef lecturer who won the BBC's Masterchef: the Professionals, has been named National Chef of Scotland by the Scottish government.
The FE teacher from City of Glasgow College is the first holder of this new post – after the government promised it would "appoint a national chef to promote Scotland’s produce and the associated health benefits" in its Programme for Government earlier this year.
Mr Mclean said he was absolutely delighted to be appointed. "I'm sure my passion for education will also help to promote the benefits that Scottish produce can have on a healthy diet and will help to change our relationship with locally sourced and produced food,” he said.
The senior lecturer shot to fame last year when he beat hundreds of restaurant chefs to the Masterchef: the Professionals title. He told Tes social media “went mad” after he raised the trophy just before Christmas 2016, with thousands of messages arriving from supporters. Mr Mclean, who will carry out his new post alongside his duties at the college, first came to what was then the Glasgow College of Food and Nutrition as a student in 1988, returning as a lecturer shortly afterwards. He said teaching in FE was his "dream job".
Scotland's rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: “The appointment of Gary Maclean as our national chef will play a central role in celebrating the rich larder of produce that we have available and advocate the use of locally sourced, healthy, sustainable and affordable food."
City of Glasgow College principal Paul Little Gary Mclean would be "a great ambassador for Scotland as its first national chef and is already an inspiration to our college students who see for themselves every day, the power of an innovative, hands-on technical and professional education.”