The UK's newest MasterChef now wants to become Scotland's first National Chef.

Gary Maclean, who won the latest MasterChef series on BBC, has said he would like to be considered for the new role which aims to make Scots eat better.

The post, the first of its type in the world, was a key pledge in the SNP Government’s manifesto last May and an appointment is expected in the near future.

If appointed Maclean, 45, a senior chef lecturer at the City of Glasgow College and a father of five, would act as ambassador, championing good food across Scotland and encouraging higher consumption of fresh local produce.

The role chimes with the SNP’s pledge to introduce a Good Food Nation bill, a new £5 million fund to promote island and regional food and drink brands, a renewed drive to increase demand for the supply and demand of organic food in Scotland and to encourage local authorities to procure more Scottish produce.

Mr Maclean, who teaches on the college’s acclaimed HND Professional Cookery course and who notably promoted Scottish produce in every dish he cooked for the high-profile BBC Two cookery competition, said: “I’d love to be Scotland’s national chef. I’m passionate about Scottish produce and I don’t think there’s enough education about it generally.

“There’s a massive gap between what we grow and what we actually eat. We somehow have to bridge that gap. The general public don’t get how good our produce is. I ask my new students, which country produces the best salmon in the world? They never get the answer right. They say Spain, France, Norway, but never, ever Scotland.

“I think this lack of knowledge comes from the parents. We can blame the supermarkets, because they only sell what we want to buy. There’s a lot of work to be done.”

At City of Glasgow College Mr Maclean teaches student chefs the essential skills of butchering, bakery and fishmongery, as well as how to run a professional kitchen. He has taught many of the best chefs working across the UK, including Herald Magazine columnist Graeme Cheevers of the Michelin-starred Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond and Calum Montgomery of the Michelin-starred Kinloch Lodge on Skye. The upmarket chocolatier William Curley of Harrods is also a former student.

But he added: “Too many mid-range restaurants buy in food pre-prepared, which means chefs are losing their skills.

And he said that cheap meal deals undermine the value of restaurant food. “Customers need to understand the work that goes in to putting food on the plate.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “We are currently considering options to deliver the commitment to appoint a National Chef in consultation with stakeholders.”