Gordonstoun cooks up a MasterChef quarter-finalist
26th November 2020
A Gordonstoun chef reached the quarter-finals of the hit BBC cooking programme, Masterchef – The Professionals.
31 year old Ross Burgess captured the hearts of viewers when the judges said his signature dish of Aberdeen Angus was a ‘triumph’, finding it hard to hold back his emotions.
Ross was picked as a Masterchef contestant in February and filming took place in July, but he had to keep quiet about the results until the series was aired this month (November). Despite narrowly losing out on a place in the semi-finals, Ross says being on the show is something he will ‘never forget’.
Ross says he now has grand plans for the menus at Gordonstoun,
“We’ve got such a vast area here – why not take advantage of the things on the ground which we could use as ingredients? A lot more people are interested in food now and I think everyone will be up for something a wee bit adventurous. I’ll be able to turn a nettle into something very nice! But I’ll make sure there’s something for everyone on the menu if it’s not their cup of tea.”
The Principal of Gordonstoun, Lisa Kerr, said,
“Ross has been a cheerful and enthusiastic member of our Refectory team since joining Gordonstoun a few weeks ago. It’s a very different environment to those Ross has worked in before and, as we all know, children can rival the harshest critic, but Ross is taking it all in his stride. We’ve had discussions with him and another chef about foraging for ingredients from our large campus, such as sea buckthorn, nettles and berries. They’re keen to get going and I can’t wait to try the dishes!”
Ross, who studied cookery at Moray College in Elgin, added,
“The kids are great customers – I’m my own worst critic anyway. I’ve had to cook for some high-end clients and the kids are much more appreciative – so far they’ve enjoyed everything I’ve made. Working here is an honour.
“I’ve worked in a lot of environments over my career, from catamarans to small boutique restaurants and massive hotels; this is another challenge. The people I’ve met have been fantastic and have priceless tips and tricks to pass on. It’s probably been one of the best places I’ve worked in terms of colleagues. It’s a joy to come in every morning.”
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Gordonstoun is an independent boarding school which was established in Moray in 1934 by Dr Kurt Hahn, a Jewish exile who fled Nazi Germany. He founded the school with the ideal of developing better world citizens equipped to contribute to society. Dr Kurt Hahn was the driving force behind the Outward Bound Movement and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Gordonstoun has been a pioneer of character education which, as well as academic subjects, includes outdoor activities, sailing, athletics and service to the community. Three generations of British royalty have been educated at Gordonstoun, including the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. Approximately one third of the pupils at the co-educational boarding school receive financial help in order to attend. The school was described as ‘outstanding’ and ‘sector-leading’ in its most recent inspection.