'I'm numb': Wife pays tribute to tragic Masterchef Scot after sudden death


A star chef who was mentored by Gordon Ramsay and appeared on MasterChef: The Professionals has died of an undetected heart condition.

Alex Thain’s wife Claire said she hoped the dad of four’s legacy will live on in kitchens up and down Scotland.

She added: “I’m numb at the moment. Alex was our world and we were his.

“He was a dedicated chef and he took great pleasure in taking young chefs under his wing and teaching them.

Alex Thain pictured with mentor Gordon Ramsey

“Because of this, I believe his legacy will live on in the catering industry.”

Alex’s career took off after he won the Gordon Ramsay scholarship in 2005. He went on to star in the 2015 series of BBC’s MasterChef: The Professionals.

He worked at some of Scotland’s top venues, including Cameron House on the banks of Loch Lomond, Ramsay’s Amaryllis restaurant and Andy Murray’s Cromlix House.

Alex, of Coatbridge , died on August 24. He was 37.

Claire spoke of his tragic death after he was laid to rest on Friday. More than 250 mourners attended the funeral service at the town’s St Monica’s Church.

He leaves behind his wife and children Joshua, 15, Jacob, 12, Olivia, 10, and Lucy, eight.

Claire said: “The catering industry is sometimes not the nicest of industries and not family-orientated but Alex managed to give us 100 per cent.

“He gave us the love and dedication we needed.

“He was a family man – an unbelievably talented chef – but more importantly his talent was as a loving father and husband.”

Alex Thain, pictured here with his children, was a devoted family man

She added: “Alex would come home and would sit with his head in books sometimes.

“He would be sketching out dishes. He would spend hours tweaking ingredients, he had such dedication.

“ Alex was classically trained. He absolutely loved doing pastry.

“He loved getting in among it all, working with chocolate or rolling out pastry when he came home.”

Claire added: “He has left a gaping hole in the catering world and with us – although we believe he is here in spirit and is looking over us.

“We’re just trying to come to terms with the whole thing. He had a medical problem with his heart and we didn’t really know until it was too late.”

Alex started his career as an apprentice chef at a hotel near his home town of Fochabers in Moray.

He spent three years working at One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow under head chef Andrew Fairlie in the 90s – and took up a post at the same location in 2002 after it became Amaryllis.

Alex and wife Claire on their wedding day

Alex was later headhunted by the owner of Cosmo restaurant in Edinburgh, Keith Murray, son of then Rangers chairman Sir David.

He was also head chef at Cameron House and head pastry chef at Cromlix in Perthshire.

Alex joined Big Bite Catering as head chef in June after a stint at Crossbasket Castle, near East Kilbride.

Alan Boslem, director of Big Bite Catering, said: “He had flair in all areas of the kitchen.

“What impressed me most about Alex was his ability to encourage the younger members of the team, his good manners and undoubted love for family life.”

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