Gary Maclean wins MasterChef: the Professionals 2016

The Glaswegian chef triumphed in a tense final against Elly Wentworth and Matt Healy

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Seven weeks, 48 professional chefs, three final courses of culinary perfection: Gary Maclean has come through it all to win MasterChef: The Professionals 2016.

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The 45-year-old chef lecturer from Glasgow beat fellow finalists Elly Wentworth and Matt Healy in the last episode on Thursday 22nd December, after impressing judges Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace.

Gary cooked razor clams to start, smoked and roasted Highland deer for the main course, and chocolate pistachio ganache to finish.

Gary said his family would go “absolutely nuts” after hearing the results.

“What an amazing journey. This is the biggest competition any chef can put themselves through and to be standing here at the end is incredible,” he said.

“I’ve hit emotions that I never knew I had, all in 30 seconds of each other. Words can’t describe it. I never thought I would win, ever. My wife and kids are going to go absolutely nuts.”

One of the challenges in the final week featured the chefs travelling to Oslo to cook in three-Michelin-star kitchen Maaemo – and head judge Marcus Wareing said that was the turning point for winner Gary.

“For a chef lecturer to step into a three Michelin-star kitchen and feel so at home is quite unique,” he said.

Gary says that he plans to continue his career in chef education after winning MasterChef, although he admitted that he would love to work more on TV in the future.

“My main objective is to continue with my career in education and winning MasterChef: The Professionals is going to provide me with a unique platform that hopefully will open the door to some very interesting opportunities. I would love to use my experience in the competition to help enhance the profile of culinary education,” he explained.

“If I was to dream, the perfect project alongside teaching, it would be doing more TV. I absolutely loved the environment and the team work it takes to pull something like this together. I have so much respect for the people that worked on the show. It’s very similar bond between the team that you would find in a very good kitchen, amazing to be part of.”

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The application process for next year’s series of MasterChef: The Professionals is already open. Click here to find out more.