Masterchef finalist Dean Banks is to serve up Christmas meals for some of the city’s homeless people.
The Carnoustie-based chef, who is competing in TV series MasterChef: The Professionals, has offered his services to the Steeple Church for its Christmas lunch next Thursday.
Dean, 29, will take over kitchen duties from the parish nurses who usually prepare the meals, along with Richard Muir from garden maintenance firm Richard’s Cuttings in Arbroath.
It will mean the parish nurses – Barbara MacFarlane, Rachel McReady and Kirsty Nelson – will be able to spend more time in the company of the people they support.
Dean told the Tele: “I sent a message out to soup kitchens across the area and Barbara came back to me.
“It’s about letting Barbara be part of everything instead of being in the kitchen.”
Dean has used some of his professional contacts to source food and other supplies for the lunch.
Malmaison is providing cooked turkeys, while Asda, Tesco and caterers Brakes are donating supplies.
Colin Petrie, owner of Exchange Street barber Hard Grind, will set up a chair to offer free haircuts.
He said: “A haircut can seem like such a small thing to some people. For others, it can be so far down the pecking order, but getting that tidy-up can be such a confidence-booster.”
This is the ninth year the Steeple has laid on Christmas lunch for those in need – and Barbara is usually head chef.
With Dean and Richard on hand, it’s set to be one of the best yet for Barbara and her fellow parish nurses.
She said: “I feel like a massive weight has been taken off of me and it means I don’t have to worry.”
The church holds a twice-weekly soup kitchen that has welcomed about 3,200 people in the last year.
Barbara expects about 120 people to come in for Christmas. She said: “We don’t tend to do a lot of nursing at these things. It’s more about advocacy and helping people to build their confidence.
“People put Dundee down and it’s not right – there is so much love in our city.”
It’s a busy time for professional chef Dean, who reached the final of the hit TV show after just edging the judges’ vote in the semi-final last night. Earlier this week, he welcomed his first-born, Felix, into the world.
He added: “For us, it’s just about taking a little bit of weight off the shoulders of the parish nurses.”
Dean, who shares images of his local food discoveries on his @chefdeanbanks Instagram account, is raising money to help cover the costs of the lunch.
Donations can be made online at gofundme.com/christmas-lunch-for-the-homeless.