Scots Masterchef 2022 contestant auctions off home-cooked meal in memory of late father


A Scots Masterchef 2022 contestant is auctioning off a home cooked meal in memory of his late father.

Dean Reilly, 41, is due to appear in this year’s BBC smash hit show but just as the announcement was made public, his father Gilbert passed away.

The 70-year-old, also known as Gill, died on February 21 this year.

After a conversation with his girlfriend, the Edinburgh man took time out before prepping for the cookery contest to launch his own fundraising event to remember his dad.

Dine with Dean will offer people the opportunity to win a three-course-meal for six people cooked at their own home, for only £20.

The father-of-three created a fundraising page for people to donate £20 and he will draw the lucky winner in a ballot, with all proceeds raised going to a local charity.

He explained: “The place I am raising money for is called Canongate Youth in Edinburgh.

“My girlfriend Catherine McMillan works for them and told me a bit about the charity and it epitomizes what my Dad was all about.

“He made sure we had everything we needed to thrive and improve ourselves in life. So it just hit me one day that I was going to do some fundraising in his Dad’s name, and the Dine with Dean event will be just the start of it.

“My Dad’s birthday was July 19 so I am going to keep doing more charity events right up until his birthday.”



Dean alongside his father and three sons, Dillon, aged 23, Michael aged 14 and Aiden aged 10.

Dean is already something of a local hero and has been fundraising for MS Society Scotland.

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Despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a decade ago, it hasn’t stopped him running grieving marathons to raise cash for charity.

With being unable to get out and run during lockdown Dean looked for a new hobby and took up cooking, alongside his three sons.

He continued: “I have always enjoyed it but never took it serious, and then during lockdown me and the kids started doing a lot of cooking.

“I bought myself a wee pasta maker much to the amusement of my friends. But they have been great and it was one of them who said to me to apply for Masterchef.

“I applied and it is quite a long process to get through, you get phone calls, emails and video calls and then you have to audition for them, cook something and take it to them.

“So it was really quite an intense application process, but I got through.

“My boys told me not to come home unless I won! I can’t say much more but it will be on television soon enough and I have done my best so hopefully that was good enough.”

Despite being something of a culinary genius, Dean never managed to completely win over his father to his cooking.

His fancy offerings of smoked baked beans and the like just couldn’t compare to his mother’s cooking.

Dean added: “My Dad’s taste in food was very particular.

“Basically whatever my Mum put down to him was ‘beautiful’ and anything else was rubbish.

“I would always try and make something for him. One time I made these home he made smoked baked beans and he was like ‘ye ken you can get beans in a tin, son?’

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“Although he did admit to my son that my mince and tatties was better but he made him promise to never tell his granny my mince was nicer!”

Dean will appear on this year’s Masterchef on Tuesday April 19 at 8pm on BBC One.

To win the chance to have him cook you a home made meal visit his fundraising page.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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