Lanarkian's take on Gordon Ramsay

Only a Lanarkian could give celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay a run for his money – and Michelle Maddox has certainly done that in his latest TV show, Future Food Stars.

Michelle, pictured with Alasdair and Eve, enjoyed her time with Gordon Ramsay on Future Food Stars.
Michelle, pictured with Alasdair and Eve, enjoyed her time with Gordon Ramsay on Future Food Stars.

Michelle Maddox, who was born in Lanark, said her determination to succeed in life and business comes from her children.

The mum-of-four said: “The kids are my world. They are all the inspiration I need.

“As the challenges in the show became more and more gruelling, I only needed to think of them to pick myself up and get on with it.”

Michelle (46) was one of 12 food and drink entrepreneurs competing in the BBC1 show for a chance to win a £150,000 investment.

She runs Clootie McToot Dumplings, making 1500 fruit puddings a week; she and her husband Alasdair (44), who is a firefighter, also have four children – Alistair (26), Kyle (18), Jacob (16) and eleven-year-old Eve.

Michelle and the other contestants were put through their paces by Ramsay with a series of food tasks each week…and also the toughest of challenges.

Viewers saw her jumping off cliffs in Cornwall, making lunch for mountain rescuers dining at 1000ft in the Lake District and abseiling 100ft through terrifying narrow caves at Wookey Hole in Somerset.

She said: “Before Future Food Stars I was a non-adrenaline, safe, secure and risk-free person. I did not like heights, darkness, confined places, hiking, cold water, water in my face or trying new activities.

“I was always the bag holder at theme parks and watching over the deck chairs at the beach and pool.

“Future Food Stars challenged me. I am so thankful I never knew what was ahead of me and I loved every moment.

“I also learned that with the support of many, you are capable of anything.”

Michelle, who now lives in Abernethy, came up with the business idea for Clootie McToot after her son Jacob asked if she would bake and have a stall at his school fete.

She said: “He was keen to be behind a market stall selling goods. I agreed and we decided to make clootie dumplings.

“I have an age-old family recipe. I used to make clootie dumpling with my granny and that’s what we use in the business to this day. Every single one is hand crafted.

“The aroma of the sugar and spice and the fun the kids and I had making the dumplings brought back many fond memories of my own childhood in Lanark.”

She applied for Future Food Stars to win the £150,000 to help increase manufacturing to meet demand.

Michelle started the business from home and later expanded to a converted barn and hayloft.

Sadly, she exited the series in week five after her team lost a challenge.

She said: “It was disappointing but I love Gordon. He may come across as gruff and unapproachable but he is a teddy bear when the cameras stop rolling.

“I think he liked the fact that I was Scottish and I know he liked my clootie dumpling. He’s welcome to visit me any time he is filming in Scotland or visiting family here.”

Michelle booked a family holiday to Greece once she left the show, which was filmed last year.

The final episode airs tomorrow (Thursday) at 9pm.