A TEACHER from the Wee County hopes to inspire students with her appearance on a popular TV cooking contest.

Dollar Academy history teacher Jilly McCord made it to the last 12 in this year's MasterChef and has been "completely blown away" by the local support.

And the TV kitchen further spilled into the school last week, when a MasterChef pro visited pupils to impress with his recipe book and culinary skills.

Jilly was joined by Gary Maclean, 2016 champion of The Professionals spin-off series and Scotland's first national chef.

He gave a demonstration on healthy-cooking in an effort to assist boarding pupils with two meals prepared on the day.

For Jilly, the experience with MasterChef has so far been "absolutely fantastic" and she has learnt a huge amount while meeting "some great people".

She said: "It is certainly very exciting to be part of a show I have watched for many years and I have to pinch myself that I am actually part of it.

"The challenges come thick and fast on MasterChef and I have been pleased so far that my food looks good and I have had mostly positive feedback."

And the support she received has had a big impact so far.

Jilly added: "I have been completely blown away by the support from the Dollar community with day pupils all watching at home with family and the boarding community sitting round and watching together.

"I have had former pupils and parents contacting me in the last few days and it has been such a positive experience - just need to keep giving them something to cheer about.

"I hope that the pupils of the school use this as inspiration to follow their dreams and not be too scared to do something out of their comfort zone."

Creative in the kitchen and a proud Scotsman, Gary is a multi-award winning chef and a senior lecturer at City of Glasgow College, with a passion for mentoring young people.

As well as the healthy cooking presentation, Gary joined Scottish Quality Meats to officially hand to Dollar Academy a certificate of membership for the Scotch Beef Club, making the school the only in Scotland to join the society to date.

The club consists of more than 300 restaurants and other organisations that are all proud to serve Scottish red meat industry products.

Following the visit, Gary said: "It is great to see such a wide range of Scottish produce in the fridges within the Dollar kitchen.

"It is an asset to Dollar to have a chef on hand preparing high quality food for pupils and this emphasises the overall message of health and wellbeing within the school."