Final Five - MasterChef: The Professionals 2014 Brian McLeish

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th December 2014

Let's meet the final five MasterChef: The Professionals 2014 contestants who have made it this far and are hoping to impress Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti to be in with a chance of taking this year's title.

Brian - MasterChef The Professionals - low resName: Brian McLeish

Region: Aberdeen (Born West Lothian, Scotland)

Age: 32 (31 at time of filming)

Profession: Head Chef

Personal: Currently single    

Cooking Background: “I live in Udny, Aberdeenshire but I am originally from East Whitburn in West Lothian. I have two older sisters; we are a very close family, and they give me great support to do the job I love.

“My uncle, Douglas Lynch, took me on as an apprentice in a local hotel where I grew up. My interests in food grew from there as I progressed and moved to bigger and better kitchens.

“I have no formal training or qualifications regarding cooking, I've just developed over the years in all the different places I've worked. Each new job was picked to challenge and improve me as a chef.”

Cooking Influences:
 “I enjoy cooking good honest food and I am as comfortable in one section as the next. I'm not really into scientific cooking; I'm all about big natural flavours. I want people to know and feel comfortable with the food I cook; it's about flavour and enjoyment.brian salmon

“All the chefs I have worked with over the years have influenced me. Most notably Paul Hart of the Scotsman in Edinburgh, and Paul Flynn of the Tannery in Ireland. During filming, Marcus and Monica hugely influenced my cooking style and really sharpened me up as a chef.

On MasterChef: “I entered the competition to challenge myself. I don't have a head chef to push me anymore so this was a way for me to better myself and pit myself against some great chefs.

“I feel completely honoured to have made it to the finals in the competition. I was up against extremely talented chefs from the start so I feel very lucky and proud to get this far. I also think I earned it, a lot of hard work and practice got me here.

“For me the most challenging moment so far was fighting for my place in the Final Week during the Semi Finals. There were only two of us cooking head to head in the kitchen, I had heard great things about Luciana’s food, and it's not food I knew or understood. I felt the smallest mistake was going to be enough to send either of us home in that round.”

Cooking ambitions: “I am still working away in Aberdeen and we are getting a lot more attention; it's a very small restaurant so we are fully booked all the time now. The competition has given me a lot more focus and determination to achieve what I want from cooking.

brian dessert“I will continue to push myself and prove my capabilities. My biggest ambition is to have my name over the door of my own restaurant. It's one thing cooking for a living, but it's great to be recognised for my own style and be in control of my own future.”

What Marcus and Monica said:  In the semi-final 'Brian had a fire in him'. They loved his 'big, bold flavours' and his dishes 'had great thought'. 'At the beginning of the competition Brian was not dressing plates like that - he has polished up his act'.

>>> Read more about MasterChef: The Professionals 2014

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th December 2014

Final Five - MasterChef: The Professionals 2014 Brian McLeish