A FORTH VALLEY chef is fighting back against the Covid-19 outbreak by utilising his supplies to deliver fresh meals and recipes to the community.

Mark Heirs has been a personal chef for the past six years after a lifetime in the catering industry.

At the tail-end of primary school, he began helping out at the family restaurant and then went to college before working in kitchens all over the world.

He returned to Falkirk to re-join the family business in 2009 and when the restaurant closed four years later, he didn’t want to work for someone else or open a restaurant, and a colleague floated the idea of being a personal chef.

That’s been his job since 2013, with international clients either coming to him or Mark travelling to them. However, the outbreak of coronavirus has cleared Mark’s schedule until June and instead of sitting feeling sorry for himself, he’s decided to help out in the best way he can.

Mark said: “I sat at the end of the week, feeling a little sorry for myself thinking ‘what am I going to do for three months?’

"To make the most out of a bad situation, I thought I’d utilise my skills in the kitchen and help people.

“I’ve been in supermarkets and can’t believe how bare they are. But my suppliers are pretty well stocked, so I thought I can utilise the fresh product I have here, do something with it, and get it to people who need it.”

Mark’s commercial suppliers have replenished his stock and so he is breaking the food down and putting them into small household packages.

He spent the weekend cooking and added that ready-made meals will also be available.

At first, dishes will be simple food such as mince and tatties, stews, casseroles and macaroni.

Providing he can get out the house in the weeks to come, he’ll explore what ingredients he can pick up to make more exotic meals.

Mark recently appeared on the BBC’s Corner Shop Cook-Off and has appeared on television before and those experiences led him to another venture: a YouTube cooking channel.

He said: “I toyed with the idea. Friends and colleagues have been chatting for a while and one thing people have been asking for is recipes to show how we can turn everyday dry ingredients into something special.

“I want to show people if you are stuck in the house isolating some recipes where you don’t need to go to the shops, you don’t need a lot of fresh ingredients, [or] a lot of time or skills to rustle up tasty, nutritious dinners.”

Food deliveries are a paid service and people can buy supplies from Mark.

All the profits made will be used to fund food delivery and food distribution for the elderly, those who can’t afford it and those who can’t get out the house or are vulnerable in any way.

Contact Mark on 01786 440022 for more information on delivery and supplies, and search Mark Heirs Chef on YouTube for easy and quick home recipes.