A PEEBLES chef left his career creating mouth-watering dishes at an award-winning hotel to fight the war on obesity.

When former Head Chef of Cringletie House Hotel Cameron MacMichael hit 18st 8lb in April 2010, he squeezed into his chef whites with a 44 inch waist.

Looking in the mirror unhappy at the large reflection staring back at him, he made a decision to turn his life around and his incredible weight loss journey to health and happiness began.

Cameron worked under Executive Masterchef Chef Willie Pike MBE, one of Scotland’s top chefs who taught him the secret art of blown sugar.

This talent would soon become Cameron’s crowning glory, and he was renowned for creating realistic fruits filled with sorbet as the core.

Cameron also spent time in the kitchen with famed chef Ivan Day, who is acclaimed as the leading expert on historic cookery in Britain.

Cameron told us: “Ivan has mentored chefs such as Heston Blumenthal, so I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to learn from him. The skills I learned from Ivan inspired me to create Outlander themed wedding menus for the hotel.”

Success continued to grow for the award-winning chef, but so did his waistline, and surrounded by food, it constantly became a battle to control the pounds as they crept on.

“I simply didn’t want to develop long term health problems,” Cameron told the Peeblesshire News.

“I wanted to become me again.”

After trying and struggling with countless diets, Cameron turned to the Cambridge plan in a last ditch attempt to gain control of his weight.

It would fast become the best decision he ever made after losing a whopping 8st 6lbs in nine short months.

Cameron explained: “The diet was not plain sailing, working in the kitchen I was always tempted to eat the wrong kids of foods constantly.

"It is so easy to cook a quick fix when you’re hungry which is usually deep fried.”

With a new attitude to food, Cameron says the one-to-one support from consultants is perfect for taking control and managing weight.

But what drove this incredibly successful and driven chef to hang up his apron and turn up the gas on a new career as Cambridge Weight Loss Consultant.

Cameron explained: “I left the kitchen to join the war on obesity which is linked to causing one out of 11 deaths in Britain.

“My former Cambridge mentors Mark and Nicola Lafferty said I should consider becoming a consultant.

"With my own success story, vast knowledge of food and the drive to help others, I was seeing clients within the week I was accredited as a consultant.”

The former chef may have left the hotel industry, but he is still very much doing what he loves - which is creating new dishes.

And he is very excited about the launch of his first cook book.

“Using my knowledge of food, I am creating dishes that are 200 calories. I want to make meals simple, tasty and fun so even the kids can get involved.”

Cameron hopes to have his cook book published and available to buy this summer.

Asked if he had any regrets leaving life as a hotel chef behind, Cameron replied: “I’m still a chef, just not for people who want to be cooked for. I now create dishes for people to cook themselves at home which will hopefully enable them to lead a healthy lifestyle and take back control.”

Cameron is based at Cavalry Park, Peebles and can be contacted via Facebook: Cameron MacMichael Independent Consultant Cambridge Weight Plan.