YOUNGSTERS were given a Masterchef-class with an award winning chef at a recent school event.

Pupils in S2-S6 at Biggar High School were joined by Masterchef The Professionals winner Gary Maclean for a special cooking event.

The aim of the event was to encourage pupils to consider a career in the hospitality industry, as well as being an opportunity to celebrate Scottish food.

As part of the event students prepared a beef and haggis burger using local ingredients – including haggis from Ovens Butchers and vegetables from The Orchards, both in Biggar – and were supported by junior sous chef Stephen Macdonald from Cornhill Castle near Biggar, who helped to motivate pupils and shared his professional skills.

Lesley Prentice, a teacher at the high school, said: "The event provided students with a motivating learning experience and the opportunity for them to develop skills for learning.

"The feedback from students after the event was incredibly positive.

"They found it fun, insightful and exhilarating plus it has ignited a passion in them for a career in the food industry."

Maclean, who is Scotland's National Chef, also gave a demonstration by preparing three dishes – Cullen skink, Forfar bridies, and Glasgow macaroon, all from his book Scottish Kitchen.

Sharing to social media after his visit, Maclean said: "It was heartening to see the students' enthusiasm and eagerness to learn.

"Additionally, I had the opportunity to shed light on the invaluable experiences and educational prospects that City of Glasgow College offers to individuals keen on pursuing a career in the hospitality industry.

"As one of Scotland's leading educational institutions, the college equips students with comprehensive skills and knowledge, laying the foundation for their successful journey ahead."

He added: "One crucial aspect that emerged during our time together was the importance of robust collaborations between colleges and schools.

"By actively engaging with schools, colleges can bridge the gap between theoretical concepts and real-world experiences. Such collaborations nurture the passions of young individuals, fuel their ambitions, and provide them with a tangible taste of their chosen industries.

"I wholeheartedly believe that enabling young minds to explore their passions and providing them with the necessary skills to excel is key to nurturing the talent our industry needs. With the collective efforts of dedicated professionals, schools, and educational institutions like The City of Glasgow College, we can shape a brighter future for our aspiring hospitality professionals.

"I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone at Biggar High School for their warm welcome, enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn.

"Your commitment to empowering young people and fostering a love for the culinary arts is truly commendable."

Maclean is set to release his new book, Scottish Celebrations, next month.