Gary Maclean, 45, has been crowned the ‘MasterChef: The Professionals’ champion of 2016.
The senior chef lecturer from Glasgow beat fellow finalists Elly Wentworth and Matt Healy in the last episode of the BBC Two series on Thursday (December 22), after seven weeks of competing in culinary challenges.
The contestants were judged by two Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, renowned chef Monica Galetti and MasterChef’s seasoned judge, Gregg Wallace.
Their final task was to create a three-course meal for the judges in three hours. Gary’s winning menu started with white wine-steamed razor clams served with a garnish of asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke discs and crispy ham on a bed of a diced fennel, courgette, and carrot in a white wine sauce, finished with a lemon gel.
His main course was smoked and roasted loin of Highland roe deer accompanied by celeriac three ways (crisped, puréed and diced), roasted Scottish whisky-washed carrots, kale, gooseberry chutney and nasturtium leaves, finished with Arran mustard sauce.
Dessert was a chocolate pistachio ganache on a sablé Breton biscuit, with raspberry gel, topped with a pistachio croquant wafer, garnished with fresh raspberries, mint and dehydrated raspberries, served with a vanilla ice cream.
Gary is the tenth winner to be awarded the prestigious title, and becomes part of Professional MasterChef history, along with past champions Derek Johnstone; Steve Groves; Claire Lara; Ash Mair, joint winners Keri Moss and Anton Piotrowski; Steven Edwards; Jamie Scott and last year’s winner, Mark Stinchcombe.
Reacting to his win, Gary said: “This is the biggest competition any chef can put themselves through and to be standing here at the end is incredible. Winning ‘MasterChef: The Professionals’ is totally unbelievable! The whole experience was remarkable and enjoyable from start to finish.”
Monica added: “Gary is a chef who always cooks from the heart and you can feel the emotion that goes into his cookery.”
Marcus commented: “Gary has soaked up every little bit of this competition. He’s lived the MasterChef dream. He’s a major talent, he’s grown incredibly well, and he’s a gentleman of the kitchen.”
Gregg remarked: “That man has forged his own style of cookery while he’s been here on MasterChef. It’s modern, it’s of the moment and I think it’s fantastic.”
Applications for ‘MasterChef: The Professionals’ 2017 are now open at http://www.masterchef.com/masterchef-applications