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Food and drink group books national chef for festival

Award winning chef Gary Maclean: 'blown away' by the quality of local produce.

SCOTLAND’S first ever national chef Gary Maclean will headline this year’s Taste of Shetland food festival in October.

 The 2016 MasterChef: The Professionals champion will be hosting a cookery demonstration at the festival’s food theatre on 6 October as well as at a special event the night before which will give visitors the opportunity to ask questions.

Tickets for both events will go on sale from 1 March at www.tasteofshetland.com/events and they will be available to members of Shetland Food and Drink first.

Chairwoman Marian Armitage said she was delighted that the local food and drink group had secured the services of “one of the most popular winners ever of MasterChef: The Professionals”.

“Gary is a passionate advocate for cooking fresh, nutritious and locally sourced food, and has a huge passion for education and inspiring others,” she said.

Maclean is a multi-award winning chef who is currently a senior lecturer at City of Glasgow College. Last year he was asked to take on the role of Scotland’s first ever national chef.

Having visited Shetland last year, the 47 year old said he was “blown away” by the quality of local ingredients and the care local producers have for their product.

“I’ve already sampled Shetland’s fantastic fish and seafood and I completely understand why it’s in demand all over the world,” he said.

“I cannot wait to taste the produce available at the Taste of Shetland festival and meet the producers behind it.”

The Taste of Shetland festival will be held between 5 to 7 October. Opening times are Friday 6pm to 9pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm, and Sunday 11am to 5pm.