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Media captionScotland’s amazing food on the menu

Scotland has its national drink, its other national drink, and now it has its very own national chef.

The 2016 winner of MasterChef: The Professionals – Gary Maclean – will be the first to wear the Scottish government’s new crown.

His job is celebrate Scottish produce and teach how to make the most of locally-sourced, healthy, sustainable and affordable food.

Scotland’s food and drink sector is worth about £13.5bn a year.

‘A rich larder’

The post of National Chef was created to take forward plans to make Scotland a Good Food Nation, not only in terms of produce but also what people buy, serve and eat.

Gary, a senior chef lecturer at the City of Glasgow College, said he was happy to help.

Image copyright Scottish Government
Image caption Gary will continue in his role as Senior Lecturer at the City of Glasgow College while he spreads the word about Scotland’s finest produce

“As a passionate advocate for cooking fresh, nutritious and locally-sourced food, I am absolutely delighted to be appointed Scotland’s first National Chef,” he said.

“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.”

Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy 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.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Gary was the 2016 winner of MasterChef: The Professionals and is now Scotland’s National Chef

“Scotland’s food and drink sector is a global success story and one of the main contributors to our economy.

“We want to build upon this success by becoming a world leading Good Food Nation where nutritious, fresh and environmentally sustainable food is a key part of what makes people proud of their country and Gary will play a leading role in delivering this ambition.”

Minister for Public Health Aileen Campbell stressed the importance of Scots eating well: “The National Chef will play an important role in delivering our healthy nation ambitions.

“As well as demonstrating how the selection, cooking and enjoyment of nutritious food contributes to a balanced and sustainable diet, Gary will also promote the benefits of healthy food for our physical, mental and social wellbeing.

Image copyright Scottish Government
Image caption Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing with Gary and Minister for Public Health Aileen Campbell

What does the National Chef Do?

Gary Maclean is Scotland’s first National Chef.

His job description includes the following responsibilities:

  • Celebrate the rich larder of produce that Scotland has available
  • Advocate the use of locally sourced, healthy, sustainable and affordable food – and cooking meals raw from these ingredients – to the food and drink industry, general public, young people and communities
  • Demonstrate the preparation of locally-produced healthy, sustainable, affordable cooking to the food and drink industry, general public, young people and communities through their practices, social media, and events e.g. cooking for ministers, the Royal Highland Show, Tourism Week;
  • Demonstrate how the selection of nutritious food, how it is cooked and enjoyed contributes to a balanced diet and physical, mental and social wellbeing
  • Celebrate the great work being carried out in communities to encourage healthy, sustainable diets and the use of locally sourced produce, with potential to develop further the community chef movement to help address food insecurity
  • Celebrate the increasingly high standards of school meals and the work of school catering staff who continue to provide healthy, environmentally sustainable and affordable options

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