I’m delighted to say that I am sitting here today with celebrity chef Finn McDuff and Thistle journalist Raine Sandersonand they have agreed to give me an exclusive interview.
Thank you both for meeting me. I want to get to know you guys a little better if that’s ok?
Raine. ‘Hi Lou, nice to meet you!’ (Enthusiastic smile)
So, Raine, tell us how you two first met?
Raine. ‘Well, I went to interview Finn, erm I mean Chef McDuff, at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh on the morning after he’d won his three Golden Stars, but it didn’t go very well, did it….?’ (laughs)
Chef McDuff. (Boyish grin) ‘Well, that was my fault. I was badly hung-over but luckily Raine took pity on me. She put me on the front page of the biggest newspaper inEdinburgh and said nice things about me when everyone just wanted to pull me down.’
Raine. ‘I just wanted everyone to know how fantastic he is, that’s all. I mean, you know he’s the youngest and yummiest chef to ever win three Golden Stars, don’t you?’
Chef Mc. (Shrugs)
Chef McDuff, soon after that you closed your restaurant, gave back your stars and abandoned your new TV show, then you went missing – why did you do that?
Chef Mc. (Sighs and rakes through his long unruly hair with his big knarled hands) ‘I suppose I just needed time off the grid. My third wife decided to leave me just as I’d won my third star and the irony of that was lost on no one, least of all the press. The media intrusions were just too much and I was starting to suffer terrible stress. The day I leftEdinburgh, the paparazzi were swarming like flies outside my house. I had no choice but to escape…’
Raine. (Reaches out to take his hand) ‘The press were printing some awful things about him and none of it was remotely true!’
Chef Mc. ‘At one point they were dragging the rivers and lochs for my body!’ (He snorts with laughter at this…)
Raine, is it true that an ex-newspaper colleague of yours, Ross Campbell, was behind a scandalous campaign to hunt down Chef McDuff and expose him?
Raine. ‘I think it’s fair to say there was media frenzy and Ross was certainly behind most of it. It was a worrying time, especially as I didn’t have a clue where Finn (Chef McDuff) was either. He didn’t call me!’
Chef Mc. ‘That was because I found out my phone had been hacked!’
And what about the vengeful lady chef, Anna James, is it true she wanted to take revenge on you for closing down your restaurant?
Chef Mc. (Leans forward to raise both his hand and the tone of his Scottish accent). ‘I think if you read ‘Reaching for the Stars’ you will find out what really happened with Anna and why she was so angry. It had nothing to do with me closing the restaurant…!’
Raine. (Quickly interrupting) ‘Actually, I think you’ll find ‘Reaching for the Stars’ is about the bitter side of being famous and about celebrities having feelings just like normal people. That said, the ingredients of this story are not just about angst, anger and tempers reaching boiling point (pauses to roll eyes) there is also the author’s (Janice Horton) trademark dark humour cooking up a storm throughout….’
Thank you both so much for your time. It has been wonderful to meet you
Scottish celebrity chef Finn McDuff is media stalked and disillusioned after winning his third star and losing his third wife. He decides he’s had enough of all the food campaigns, the TV cookery shows, the constant frenzy surrounding his private life and, after giving up all his accolades and closing down his restaurant, he disappears into a self-imposed exile.
With the enfant terrible of the kitchen missing, two rival newspapers, having lost their media meal ticket, compete against each other to whip up further public curiosity in the missing chef.
Love him or hate him, everyone is out looking for Chef McDuff. Who will find him first and whose side will you be on…?
Buy ‘Reaching for the Stars’ now at the special launch price of just 99p
About the author:
Janice lives in Scotlandand writes romantic novels with humour which are, for the most part, inspired by the beauty of the heather-filled glens around her country cottage. When Janice is not writing novels, she write lifestyle articles and has had work published in national and international magazines and regional newspapers. She is also the bestselling author of ‘Bagpipes & Bullshot’.