NEARLY 30 years ago his mum made culinary history at Edinburgh’s Caledonian Hotel by becoming the first female sous-chef in Britain.
Now Jamie Scott has earned his own fame after being crowned winner of MasterChef: The Professionals 2014.
He took the prestigious title after a nail-biting final which was the culmination of a seven-week competition played out on the nation’s TV screens.
Jamie, 26, was born in Kirkliston around the time mum Winnie was working at the Caledonian. His dad, Grant, was in the Black Watch and the family moved around when Jamie was young.
He said of his mum: “She was a brilliant cook, she showed me everything. She was a massive, massive influence.” Jamie became the eighth winner of the BBC2 show, beating off competition from Sven-Hanson Britt, 26 and Brian McLeish, 32.
He said his victory had not sunk in yet. “I want to cry a little bit I’m so happy. 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.”
Dad Grant said: “We couldn’t be any prouder of him than we are.”
Jamie was praised by the judges for his passion for food and love of cooking.
Marcus Wareing said: “Jamie is a fantastic chef who 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.”
And Monica Galetti said: “Jamie has always given us delicious food, food that he enjoys eating. I am going to be so happy to follow this chef’s career.”
The finalists had to complete tasks including preparing a Michelin-standard dish for 25 acclaimed Michelin-starred chefs, inspectors and restaurateurs, and travelling to San Sebastian in Spain to cook for influential chef Andoni Luis Aduriz at his famous restaurant Mugaritz. Gregg Wallace described it as the toughest judging decision he can remember, and said: “I can’t watch Jamie cook without smiling. He delivers over and over again – the man is just in love with cooking.”
Jamie said his interest in cooking began when he was a child – baking with his gran and being in the kitchen a lot while his mum was at work.
He started his career at 14 as the most junior person in the kitchen of his parents’ pub, and eventually worked his way up to running it. He now lives in Arbroath with his wife Kelly and works as a sous-chef at Rocca in St Andrews.
He hopes to cook on TV and publish a book. But he said: “The dream is to one day run a successful restaurant business in London or Edinburgh or both. 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.”