STUCK IN hospital, fighting cancer and missing long periods of school, Jordan Shane gave up on his ambition to become a teacher.

“I lost interest,” he admits. “It was hard, being a teenager, but not being able to do what everyone else was doing. I was in and out of hospital for about two years. I lost a bit of focus. Then I got the job here, and everything changed.”

“Here” is the busy, aroma-filled kitchen at La Bonne Auberge, where 28-year-old Jordan is now head chef.

It is his first festive season in charge – he worked Christmas Day to “make sure everything went smoothly” before heading home to his partner Danielle and six-year-old daughter Antonia in Summerston – and he breathes a sigh of relief that all went well.

“Taking over a kitchen like this, in a restaurant so well known and with such a great reputation, is a big challenge,” he admits.

“The previous head chef, Gerry Sharkey, was my mentor and I learned so much from him. It’s big boots to fill.”

So far, Jordan is doing a fine job of following in his predecessor’s footsteps, as the city centre restaurant prepares to celebrate its 45th anniversary in 2020.

Following an unannounced inspection from the AA team last month, the brasserie retained its exclusive AA Rosette status for the 21st consecutive year.

Jordan grins: “The inspector said my duck breast, with creamed cabbage, bacon, pine nuts and a raspberry reduction, was divine. That was a proud moment.

“Top tip for Christmas leftovers? Turkey curry. It’s a winner.”

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Jordan was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a type of cancer which develops in the lymphatic system, when he was 13.

“I had a ‘mump’ behind my ear – it was a huge lump that wouldn’t go away,” he explains. “By the time it was diagnosed, it had reached stage four and spread to my collar bone. I had to have a lot of treatment, and spent a lot of time in the old Yorkhill Sick Kids’ Hospital.

“I suppose I used humour to try to cope with it - it seemed easier to deal with if you just laughed about it.”

He added: “When I left school, I worked as a tiler for a short while, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do any more. I’d always wanted to be a history teacher, but I’d missed too much school.

“I’ve always loved cooking but I never imagined doing it as a job. Then, I got the junior job here and it all just clicked. It lit a passion in me.”

Jordan is now in charge of a team of 10 chefs and three kitchen porters.

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“I learned to cook and bake from my gran, Lillian,” he explains. “She was an amazing cook – she could make anything.”

He adds, with a laugh: “Except meringues. She tried them in the microwave once and blew the door off.

“She had a wee garden and used to grow her own brambles and raspberries to make jams and purees, and she even had an apple tree. Her apple pie was the most amazing I’ve ever tasted.”

Inspiring young chefs is a passion of Jordan’s.

“It’s not that long ago I was standing where they were,” he says. “You have to make mistakes to learn from them, and I just want to support them as much as I can.

“Going through cancer in my teens could have gone one of two ways.

“You either give up and mope about feeling sorry for yourself, or you get back on your feet and show the world what you can do.”