Archives for the ‘Masterchef’ Category

Masterchef: Afterthoughts

Now that I have had time to reflect, how did I find the whole Masterchef experience? Most people ask me would I do it again, and the answer is most definitely Yes. If I could sum up what I learned most from the experience it would be:

Believe in yourself. Cook from the heart. Open your mind to new things. Take advice on board. Don’t let people knock you. Follow your dream.

I got to learn from some of the best in the world such as Nathan Outlaw, Mickael Viljanen and Andy McFadden, I visited some fantastic places like the Aran Islands, Kilkenny, London and Stockholm and most importantly, I made great friends. I got to work with fantastic ingredients and cooked for several Michelin starred chefs. Read more →

Masterchef Final

And so it ends for me. I had an unbelievable time on #rtemc and really appreciate all the messages of support I received. While I’m disappointed, I’m not surprised that I did not win. But what an amazing experience I had. I’m happy with what I cooked last night considering it was the first time I attempted the dishes. Hard to believe that none of us had any chance to practice those dishes.

I’m going to use my website and my Facebook page to continue my love affair with food. My plan is to take a break over the Christmas period and then look at what opportunities are out there. While I might not work in a top end kitchen, my ambition is to be involved in the food business in one way or another. I’m open to offers!! Read more →

Episode 10: Cooking for the Critics

I’m still taking in the fact that I am in the #rtemc Masterchef Final. Thanks for all the messages of support. Sorry if I don’t get back to everyone, it has been a bit mad! In particular it is great to hear from so many friends from my school days, whether they are in Castlebar or America.

After last week’s episode, I was going into this challenge on a high note. We finally got our masterclass from Dylan. It is easy to see how he got his Michelin star and I could see that he was in his element showing us how to cook to that standard. I got the Foie Gras poached in Sauternes dish. Read more →

Episode 9: Sea Foraging and Nathan Outlaw Masterclass

Hard to take in that I am in the final 4. Thanks for all your support. So what else happened last night? #rtemc

We headed down the West to the Aran Islands. We had no idea where we were going until we arrived at the ferry port. We even thought we were getting the plane over at one stage. I felt like I was in a scene from the Titanic as we were filming the boat scenes. The island was amazing. Such scenery! Damian Dempsey was even playing there that night, but we had to be up early so no pints for us!! It reminded me of what Ireland was like 20 years ago. When we checked into the B&B, we asked for a key for the front door. “Sure the door will be open”, came the response. We also saw currach racing in the sea which was not for the faint hearted. Read more →

Episode 8: Taste Test and Ice-Cream Masterclass

I’ve made the final 5, which is an unbelievable feeling. We finally got the Taste Test. We were waiting for it for weeks but not in that format. Very difficult as your mind and eyes are playing tricks on you. What you didn’t see last night was that there was a change of plan during the taste test. Read more →

Episode 7: Pop Up Restaurant and Pigeon Masterclass

Un-set panna cotta, un-smoked pigeon, raw mushrooms, and no passion. One to forget for me!

That was a tough masterclass. Over 80 ingredients and equipment I never knew existed. How many of you have a de-hydrator for food in your house? His masterclass took over 2 hours, cooking for 3 hours and feedback for 2 hours, so by the time we were finished we were shattered. Read more →

Episode 6: Childhood Favourites and Pig’s Jowl

We’ve now reached the half way stage and there are 8 of us left. Last week’s task involved cooking an interpretation of Nick or Dylan’s childhood memories. I went with Nick’s Fish and Chips. Nick liked it but I guess I didn’t really get the brief on this one, or I took the easy option. I more or less replicated their dish, when I should have done something more fine dining. Dylan said I need to be standing out from the pack at this stage, and that I wasn’t. Fair point, so I really need to push myself now.

What I found funny on this task was that the sample dishes we were shown were made from a packet. Read more →

Episode 5: Locks Restaurant and the Souffle Challenge

This was one of the tasks I enjoyed the most, and also the one that generated the most feedback via text, email, twitter and Facebook for me. Working with Rory and Keelin in Locks was fantastic. They do great food, the early bird is fantastic value, and they definitely deserved their Michelin star. I’m just wondering if the Michelin judges were there the night I was there!! The lads gave me loads of advice, pushed me hard, and so I did learn loads. When I went back recently for a meal with my wife, we were really looked after.

After getting the feedback from Nick and Dylan, I was raging. There were some comments used that were not shown last night and some of us took real exception to it, and I definitely let them know what I thought. Read more →

Episode 4: Kilkenny Triathlon and Emirates Cook-Off


So, another tough week over. Cooking for 200 tri-athletes in monsoon weather was really tough. We were up at 5.30am, and we had 3 hours to come up with our menus and cook them. We looked fairly calm on TV, but we were definitely not. Washing and prepping strawberries, mussels, clams, beetroot, etc., for 200 people was torture. Our ovens kept blowing out with the wind, the rain was pouring in on top of us, and we could not get the pots cooking quick enough.

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Episode 3

So I managed to scrape through with my lamb and hummus dips. And I’m on a warning. Why I put a red wine reduction with it, I’ll never know. It was probably a combination of the lack of ingredients (thanks Tamarin!!) that I had, and the pressure, which is really tough. In fairness to Dylan it did look a bit like dishwater. What they didn’t show last night was when I asked Dylan what he would have cooked with those ingredients. He said it wasn’t for him to tell me but that I could have made a dish with those ingredients. I think he didn’t know!!

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