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MasterChef: The Professionals Champion 2016 Gary MacLean MasterChef: The Professionals Champion 2016 Gary MacLean


Gary MacLean wins MasterChef: The Professionals title for 2016



Gary Maclean, 45, has been crowned BBC MasterChef: The Professionals Champion 2016

Gary is the tenth winner to be awarded the prestigious title, and becomes part of Professional MasterChef history, along with outstanding past champions: Derek Johnstone; Steve Groves; Claire Lara; Ash Mair, joint winners Keri Moss and Anton Piotrowski; Steven Edwards; Jamie Scott and last year’s winner, Mark Stinchcombe.

Taking on 47 other professional chefs in the pursuit of gastronomic glory, Gary battled through seven weeks of fierce competition and extra-ordinary cooking in the culinary challenges. He was judged the winner by two Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, renowned chef Monica Galetti and MasterChef’s seasoned judge, Gregg Wallace.

Reacting to his win, Gary said: “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.

“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”

Monica Galetti added: “Gary has been such a pleasure to watch rediscover himself as a chef. He’s a chef who always cooks from the heart and you can feel the emotion that goes into his cookery.”

Marcus Wareing spoke about the 2016 champion: “Gary has soaked up every little bit of this competition. He’s lived the MasterChef dream. He’s a major talent, he’s grown incredibly well, and he’s a gentleman of the kitchen.”

Gregg Wallace remarked: “That man has forged his own style of cookery while he’s been here on MasterChef. It’s modern, it’s of the moment and I think it’s fantastic.”

On Gary’s time in the competition, Gregg Wallace said: “Gary stood out. When other people were shaking he seemed completely and utterly happy. His story is incredible. There is a teacher who has become pupil and embraced every single lesson and is having the time of his culinary life.”

The gruelling final week saw Gary up against exceptionally tough competition in fellow finalists Elly Wentworth, 24, and Matt Healy, 33. Gary fought to prove his passion, grit, imagination and technical ability beyond that of his competitors throughout increasingly demanding tasks, which pushed all their culinary skills to their upmost limits.

The challenges included: designing and preparing a Michelin-standard dish for 28 Michelin-starred heavyweights of modern gastronomy from around the world. He also travelled to Oslo, Norway, to cook at Maaemo, one of the world’s most exciting and innovative restaurants, to learn from the ground-breaking young star of Nordic gastronomy, three Michelin-starred chef Esben Holmboe Bang.

The experience with Chef Esben was a turning point for Gary, who said: “The second I walked into the kitchen it just clicked.”

Marcus Wareing also commented: “For a chef lecturer to step into a three Michelin-star kitchen and feel so at home is quite unique.”

The ultimate, final task was to create an exceptional three-course meal for judges Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace, in three hours. Gary’s winning menu started with white wine-steamed Razor Clams served with a garnish of asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke discs and crispy ham, on bed of a diced fennel, courgette, and carrot in a white wine sauce, finished with a lemon gel. The main was Smoked and Roasted Loin of Highland Roe Deer accompanied by celeriac three ways – crisped, puréed and diced – roasted Scottish whisky-washed carrots, crispy kale, gooseberry chutney and nasturtium leaves, finished with Arran mustard sauce. Dessert was a Chocolate Pistachio Ganache on a sablé Breton biscuit, with raspberry gel, topped with a pistachio croquant wafer, garnished with fresh raspberries, mint and dehydrated raspberries, served with a vanilla ice cream.

Marcus Wareing commented that Gary’s starter “could come from any three Michelin-starred restaurant in Europe.” He added: “It’s the best razor clam dish I’ve ever eaten.”

Gary wrote his winning menu looking out of the window on the finalists’ trip to Norway, and wanted to transport the judges to the West coast of Scotland through his dishes. Following the judges’ feedback, Gary said: “I’m absolutely gobsmacked. I’m really over the moon”

Gary grew up in Glasgow and first got into cooking at school when he found he excelled in Home Economics. He says: “When I became a chef it wasn’t a popular choice as it is now and probably not a great career choice. In the mid-80s, food was changing radically with people like the Rouxs and Anton Mossimann. I was very lucky to get a job in a good hotel I was 15 and the chef was embracing the new style of food. Twenty-nine years later, having worked throughout the industry, I still love what I do.

“I am very proud to be a chef and am lucky to have worked for the best restaurants in Glasgow, in Glasgow Museums and hospitality groups, as well as part-time lecturing for 13 years” he adds. “I took up a full-time position as Chef Lecturer, where I originally trained, at the City of Glasgow College six years ago, and became Senior Chef Lecturer last year.

“Being a chef lecturer is an amazing job. Teaching the next generation of chefs is a lot of responsibility.”

About his passion for cooking, Gary: “I love cooking in every sense, everything from butchery to patisserie, but my biggest buzz is teaching and guiding students into a successful career in the industry.”

On his MasterChef experience, Gary says: “I decided to enter because I absolutely love the competition. The main reason I applied was that every year, my kids and students asked why I haven’t done it. Getting to the finals is the hardest test a chef can put themselves through and I don’t think people realise how long a journey it is, but my wife and kids have been with me every single step of the way, so it’s been brilliant.”
“Winning MasterChef: The Professionals is totally unbelievable! The whole experience was remarkable and enjoyable from start to finish. I have met some amazing people, both in front of and behind the camera. The support I have received from family and friends has been humbling.

“Hopefully, taking part has shown that if I can still chase my dreams I can inspire students to start chasing theirs.”

Speaking about his plans for the future, Gary comments: “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.

“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.”

Gary lives in Glasgow with his wife, Sharon, who he met in college when they were 17. They have five children – Cameron, 20, Ewan, 16, Laura, 14, Finlay, 4 and Harris, 3.



ITV, Kate Beckinsale to star in The Widow, a Harry and Jack Williams series




ITV Logo

ITV have announced that Kate Beckinsale will take the leading role in ITV and Amazon Prime Video Drama, The Widow, from acclaimed writers Harry and Jack Williams. The series will be produced in conjunction with Amazon Prime Video.

In The Widow Kate will play Georgia Wells who has her life turned upside-down with a phone-call in the middle of the night. Her husband of over 10 years, Will, has been reported dead after a plane crash in the Congolese jungle.

Three years later, with her old life now a thing of the past, Georgia learns something shocking. Something that will take her to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, looking to uncover the truth about his disappearance.

Still haunted by the past, Georgia is grieving for the man she loved and the life they’ve lost, but she hasn’t given up hope.

The Widow has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill, who said: “I’m delighted to announce Kate Beckinsale’s casting in The Widow. She is perfect for the role of Georgia in what is, as always, brilliant, compelling and surprising storytelling from Harry and Jack Williams. We’re very pleased to have secured the series which is an ITV original commission and co-production with Amazon Prime.”

On behalf of Amazon Prime Video, Brad Beale, Vice President, Worldwide TV Content Acquisition said: “We are thrilled to continue our existing relationship with Kate Beckinsale on the heels of her incredible performances in Amazon Studios’ critically acclaimed films.”

“Harry and Jack Williams have created a powerful story, which will be brought to life by one of the world’s most talented actresses, and we are excited to bring this thrilling series to Prime members around the world,” he added.

Commented Harry and Jack Williams: “Kate Beckinsale is a brilliantly talented actress and we’re thrilled she’s joining us on this journey – we couldn’t imagine anyone more perfect for the role. The Widow is our most ambitious and cinematic piece to date and we can’t wait to bring the dark heart of the Congolese jungle to the screen.”

The Widow will be produced by Eliza Mellor (Liar, The Living and the Dead, Poldark, Death Comes to Pemberley) and will be directed by lead director Sam Donovan (Humans, Liar, Utopia) and Olly Blackburn (Donkey Punch, Glue) who is also directing four episodes of the series. Jack and Harry Williams will executive produce the drama.

The series will go into production in January 2018 in South Africa, Wales and Rotterdam.

The Widow will premiere on ITV before airing as an Amazon Prime Original in the US. The series will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories for members to watch via the Prime Video app for popular smart TVs, Fire TV, Fire Tablets and Android and iOS phones and tablets.

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Channel 9, Married At First Sight 2018 New Series Premieres 29 Jan




What started as something of a social experiment but is now more or less straight reality (but still calling itself a social experiment), Married At First Sight will premiere it’s new series on Channel 9 on Monday January 29 at 7.30pm.

Once again the team – relationship expert John Aiken, neuropsychotherapist Dr Trisha Stratford, and dating and relationship expert Mel Schilling – aim to put relationships to the test in a unique experiment designed to determine if science can predict true love in couples who will get married at first sight.

The experts will undertake the mammoth task of pairing 20 brave singles to create their perfect match as 10 brides and 10 grooms undergo the most intense experiment yet.

The experts will match all our couples on the basis of extensive psychological and neurological testing and profiling.

Married At First Sight 2018 Davina

Each couple meet for the first time on their wedding day, and from the moment they exchange vows their relationships are thrust under a microscope as they experience the highs and lows of marriage at full speed – alongside other couples riding the same rollercoaster.

Once again, the couples will reside under the same roof as relationships are tested like never before.

They’ll get the chance to compare their experiences at often explosive dinner parties – and put their relationships to the test at the most confronting commitment ceremonies we’ve ever seen.

But while some couples will struggle with all the complexities an intense relationship experiment brings, others will find true joy as their fairytale blossoms from first glance.

10 brides. 10 grooms. 10 weddings. Who will find true lasting love?

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Netflix, German Supernatural drama Dark given Second Season




Dark Netflix

Netflix has renewed its first German original production, DARK, for a second season. The acclaimed drama created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese has resonated with audiences in Germany and around the world, including the U.S., Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Spain and France among other countries. DARK, a family saga with a supernatural twist, is now one of the most-watched entirely non-English shows on Netflix, a German series that transcends borders to connect with audiences in every country.

Kelly Luegenbiehl, Vice President of International Originals for Netflix, said: “When we first heard about DARK, we realized very early on that we hadn’t seen anything like this show before — in Germany or anywhere else in the world. DARK is a testament that great storytelling transcends geography. We’re excited that our members around the globe are captivated by the mysterious world of Winden, and will now be able to continue to see how the story unfolds.”

Showrunners Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese about the audience reception and the renewal of season two added: “We are overwhelmed by the response to DARK and are thrilled that our story has been a success with a global audience. Viewers have been captivated by the secrets of our protagonists and have taken delight in unravelling the various puzzles that the story presents. To know that we will now embark on our next journey is, for us showrunners, a dream come true. And our fans can be sure that we have plenty of surprises in store for the second season of DARK.”

Producer Quirin Berg concludes: “Jantje Friese, Baran Bo Odar, our wonderful actors and our fantastic team have put an incredible amount of energy into making DARK a unique and gripping series. We thank all of those who have accompanied us on this path. And we thank Netflix for their trust and for the excellent cooperation. We are extremely happy that DARK has by now received such an overwhelming response, both in Germany and around the world, and we are particularly thrilled about the quick decision by Netflix to take it into a second season. We can hardly wait to continue telling the story!”

DARK is now streaming on Netflix, it is set in a German town in present day where the disappearance of two young children exposes the double lives and fractured relationships among four families. In ten, hour-long episodes, the story takes on a supernatural twist that ties back to the same town in 1986.

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