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MasterChef: The Professionals winner Gary Maclean to host The Menu Food and Drink Awards 2022

Gary Maclean is the host for The Menu Food and Drink Awards 2022
Gary Maclean.

He got the call the awards was cancelled the night before the 2020 event, but Gary Maclean is fired up and ready to take on presenting The Menu Food and Drink Awards 2022 later this year.

Scotland’s national chef is swapping his chef whites for a kilt to host the awards ceremony, admitting it is the first time he’s ever done anything like it before.

But after mastering virtual cooking classes and demos throughout the pandemic which he live streamed to audiences as far as Australia and India, Gary is looking forward to finally stepping into the limelight this autumn.

Gary Maclean is looking forward to hosting the awards.
Gary Maclean is looking forward to hosting the awards.

Taking place on Thursday October 6 at The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, the awards will see the best food and drink businesses across Angus, Perthshire, Fife and Dundee be recognised on the night.

Stepping out of his comfort zone

The Glasgow-born chef who has been in the hospitality industry for around 35 years will open the event, albeit this is the first time he’s stepped out in front of an audience without a stove to hand.

He said: “It is quite a scary prospect standing on a stage without a stove in font of me or not in my chef whites.

“I had six months of worry before the last awards.

“My opening speech is quite funny now as it was all about how small the world is and how closely connected to other cultures we are.

A scallop dish from Creel Caught.

“I might use it as an intro to my speech this year and see how it goes.

“At awards I’m either usually cooking or waiting to see if someone has beat me to an award.

“I think there will be a different feel in the audience this year as I think the winners and finalists will all get a great response from everyone. I feel things have changed since the pandemic and everyone is really supportive of one another.”

Gary, who is executive chef at City of Glasgow College, has been kept busy these past few months.

He’s just launched a new cook book, Scottish Kitchen, that celebrates traditional Scottish cooking and also opened a restaurant called Creel Caught at Edinburgh’s Bonnie and Wild.

Gary Maclean as his restaurant Creel Caught.
Gary Maclean as his restaurant Creel Caught.

At The Menu Food and Drink Awards he’s most looking forward to enjoying a meal cooked by some of the best chefs in Scotland, as well as announcing the winners across the 14 categories.

“The Old Course is a dream destination and all of the chefs will bring something very different to the plate,” said the MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 champion.

“These individuals are incredibly talented and I’ve known some of them, like Martin Hollis from the hotel, for most of my career.

“I think it the awards is something we should really be celebrating.

Gary's Scottish Kitchen cook book.
Gary’s Scottish Kitchen cook book.

“It is great to see events making a comeback and I can’t wait to finally get to come to The Menu Awards.”

Gary was awarded the title of Scotland’s National Chef by the Scottish Government.

In this voluntary role, he supports the Scottish Government in food health, education and the promotion of Scotland’s amazing produce around the world.

Categories in The Menu Awards include:

  • Sustainability Award (new)
  • Community Champion (new)
  • Mixologist of the Year
  • Bar of the Year
  • Brewer of the Year
  • Chef of the Year
  • Craft Distiller of the Year
  • Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Food/Drink Visitor Destination of the Year
  • Independent Café of the Year
  • Newcomer of the Year
  • Producer of the Year
  • Restaurant of the Year
  • Street Vendor of the Year

Tickets to the event are priced at £125 per person.

For more information about the awards and to enter visit

Entries close on Sunday July 10.

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