Scottish Masterchef Gary Maclean’s favourites: Dal, paneer, Sanjeev Kapoor

Glasgow-born chef says he grew up eating Indian food and loves dal, paneer, mutton, and anything tandoor; calls Sanjeev Kapoor his favourite Indian chef who once “got him free food”

Scottish Masterchef winner Gary Maclean, Sanjeev Kapoor, Indian food
Gary Maclean (extreme left) with celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Singapore-based chef Manjunath Mural | Pic: Twitter/Gary Maclean

Scottish Masterchef winner Gary Maclean loves “dal, paneer, mutton, and anything tandoor” and his favourite Indian chef is Sanjeev Kapoor.

Maclean, who has visited India half a dozen time, says he had Indian neighbours since childhood and that’s how his love affair with Indian food began.

Maclean’s Goan seafood curry

“I grew up eating Indian food. Scotland has a thousand Indian restaurants, which is more than any other. I love dal, paneer, mutton, and anything tandoor — breads, meats, or vegetables,” said Maclean, who was in the national capital to hold an exclusive dinner pop-up at Roseate House New Delhi.

“That said, the cuisine is so vast that every time I see someone doing it, I realise I know nothing about it,” the Glasgow-born chef told PTI in an interview.

Also read: Ragi omelette to barley pulav, Indian millet cuisines making waves in China

Maclean’s love for Indian food reflects in his restaurants’ menu as well, which are big on “Scottish-Indian foods,” including the bestselling Glasgow Pakora — his version of the famous Indian snack.

“One of my restaurants has only nine things in it. It’s all fish, and I have got an Indian fish curry — the Goan seafood curry — and I have made it for years. So, yes, I do have Indian dishes in my menu,” said the 51-year-old chef. He owns a sustainable seafood restaurant called Creel Caught and a Scottish Deli called Soup & Caboodle in Edinburgh.

On Sanjeev Kapoor

Maclean counts celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor as his favourite Indian chef. “He is probably the most famous chef in the world. India’s own population is 1.4 billion people and everyone knows him. He is a great example of how hard work can help you reach places,” said the winner of BBC’s 2016 reality cooking series MasterChef: The Professionals.

Maclean, who knows Kapoor personally, also shared how a photo with the “mega-famous” chef once resulted in him getting free food at a restaurant in Glasgow.

Also read: 10 must-eat dishes of Andhra cuisine every foodie should check out

“I was in a restaurant back home, doing takeaway on a Sunday night, when I happened to show him my picture with Sanjeev. He said, ‘If your friend is Sanjeev, your dinner is free.’ When I met Sanjeev recently, I told him that he got me free food,” he added.

Next book

Maclean, who is also an author, is working on his new book Scottish Kitchen Celebrations, which is scheduled for release in October. His previous books include Kitchen Essentials: The Joy of Home Cooking and Gary Maclean’s Scottish Kitchen.

“My first book was all about teaching people to cook; it was a manual. What oils to use, how to break an egg, beginner’s stuff. My last book was on Scottish food. My next book is also on Scottish food,” he added.

Also read: Kolkata on Eater Top-10: Don’t miss these 10 foods if you’re in the city

He added that he was writing the book during his stay in Delhi, too, because he had already missed the deadline.

(With agency inputs)