Jamie Scott wins MasterChef: The Professionals 2014

The  Staff Canteen

Jamie Scott has won MasterChef: The Professionals 2014, making him the eighth champion to carry off the title.

Jamie, who is currently working as sous chef at Rocca in St Andrews, joins the ranks of exceptional past winners; Derek Johnstone, Steve Groves, Claire Lara, Ash Mair, joint winners Keri Moss and Anton Piotrowski, and last year’s winner Steven Edwards.

jamie and judgesAfter seven weeks of incredible cooking and culinary challenges, and a sensational final cook-off, the title was awarded by judges: double Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, chef Monica Galetti and MasterChef’s seasoned diner, Gregg Wallace.

Jamie said: “I want to cry a little bit I’m so happy! It’s not settled in yet, I wasn’t expecting to win! The blood, the sweat, the tears - it’s hard to fathom how much emotion goes into cooking and I hope I’ve showed that.”

The 26-year-old added: “To get the approval of Marcus and Monica and for them to decide I was the best chef on the day is just absolutely incredible. I will never have to doubt my cooking again!”

Michelin-starred judge, Marcus Wareing said: “Jamie is a fantastic chef that has a personality and a big, big heart. That goes a long way in food and this is reflected in his plates – you can see it. I know we have found a true champion, we’ve found one of the future chefs of the country.”

Monica Galetti added: “Jamie has always given us delicious food, food that he enjoys eating. Wow! I am going to be so happy to follow this chef’s career!”

In what he describes as the toughest judging decision he can remember, Gregg Wallace said: “I can’t watch Jamie cook without smiling, he delivers over and over again; the man is just in love with cooking.”

Throughout the final week Jamie beat off extremely tough competition from fellow finalists Brian McLeish, 32, and Sven-Hanson Britt, 26, and had to fully demonstrate his creativity, skill and determination as this year’s outstanding finalists undertook serious challenges that pushed them to their culinary limits.jamie action shot The final task was to prepare a three-course meal for the judges and Jamie’s winning menu consisted of a starter of picked east newt crab with pickled cucumber and raw Granny Smith apple, served with an Arbroath smokie veloute and savoury doughnuts filled with flaked smokies and Tobermore cheddar with a crunchy topping of burnt Parmesan and chives.

A main course of Glazed short rib of beef topped with beef dripping fried croutons and onion, smoked beef sirloin, salt balked turnips and burnt shallot puree, served with watercress puree and a beef jus, and a dessert of Brillat Savarin. To finish, a lemon cake topped with Italian meringue with lemon macarons almond crumb, lemon curd and salted almonds served with a basil sorbet.

Jamie said: “I feel incredible. Those three dishes were the story of my career up to this point. To condense all that into three plates of food and for the judges to understand – that was just absolutely amazing.” Jamie, who was born in Kirkliston, Edinburgh, says  his interest in cooking started when he was a child - baking with his gran and being in the kitchen a lot while his mum was at work. He said: “My parents purchased their own pub when I was 14 years old and I built my way up from peeling potatoes to running the kitchen.” jamie and his mum

Jamie then decided to train professionally, and it was at catering college, which ‘blew his mind,’ that he fell in love with food. But his mum remains his greatest influence. He said: “My mum has been the biggest inspiration for me. She is a brilliant chef who has worked in kitchens for over 30 years, and was the first female to become a sous chef in Britain.”

He added: “The competition has been absolutely amazing. I’ve just grown in confidence and refined myself more. To impress the judges I’ve had to come up with new ideas, new techniques, you’re not going to get better people critiquing your food.

“My most challenging moment in the competition has to be the Chef’s Table. We were cooking for our heroes; we were trying to show how good we are. I started off brilliantly but the pressure really got to me. The emotion of the whole competition caught up with me – I wanted it to be perfect and it wasn’t.

“My personal highlight of the series was the first Semi-Final challenge when all twelve semi-finalists were in the kitchen for the first time. You got to see who the competition was. I cooked well and that was the biggest confidence boost, it let everyone know that I was a serious contender.”

Of dreams for the future Jamie said: “The dream is to one day run a successful restaurant business in London or Edinburgh (or both) with my wife Kelly, who would run front of house. The style will be Modern British with personal influences, including my love of Thai food, and dishes inspired by my childhood cooking with my gran and classic French cookery with my mum.” He added: “I would love to cook on TV and produce a book too, that would be amazing.”

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 23rd December 2014

Jamie Scott wins MasterChef: The Professionals 2014