Recipe For Success Contestants
Miriam Flores is 28 years of age. She was born in California and lived in Mexico for most of her life. Miriam graduated with honours from Le Cordon Bleu school of cookery in Oregon USA. She describes the way she cooks as a fusion of Mexican and French cuisine. Miriam wanted to work for herself so started selling her sweet chilli sauce and other recipes at the coal quay market in Cork city and did some catering at weekends. She has built up a strong customer base and started at Mahon point market. She won the Bridgestone award for the best gourmet product in Ireland in 2007.
David Donnelly (Finalist)
David Donnelly is a 16-year-old schoolboy. David was runner up in Tesco Chef Of The Year 2007. He has entered many cookery competitions during his transition year 2007/2008. He won 'Camp Chef' at Jamboree 2008 and home economics student of the year 2008. His cod bake is a family dish which he has added his own 'creative twists' to make the dish his own. David is fanatical about food and dreams of owning his own hotel which will include a fine restaurant.
Reenie Polemis Horton
Reenie Polemis Horton is 50-year-old American born sales assistant. She lives in Greystones in Wicklow. Her recipe was handed down by her Greek mother who wrote cook books in the USA. Her mum made and sold these honey cakes to health food shops in New York City. She sells her cakes at local farmer's markets and also does freelance catering.
Ellie O'Byrne is 28 years old. Ellie has a bakery inherited from her mum and a small bakery in Blackrock in Cork. She has always had an ambition to be a writer and went to Trinity College when she was 19 to study philosophy. When her sister moved home to Ireland they decided to set up a bakery, with Orla's husband, at the site of her mothers original health shop on Paul Street,Cork. Her sister is in charge of breads and Ellie is in charge of cakes. This has worked out well as her sister Orla is an early riser and Ellie likes to go to bed late.
Ellie's son is 9 years old now and is a budding chef himself. She has passed on her love of cooking to him and to her 3 year old daughter. Ellie also runs the farmers market in Blackrock on a Sunday. On average there are 12 stalls selling everything from fruit and vegetables, charcuterie and cakes.
Maura Bielski (Series Winner)
Maura Bielski is 48 years old and lives in Fermoy. Maura spent 14 years in London and worked there mainly as a lecturer in painting and decorating. In her early days she worked in the kitchens of a number of restaurants to pay the bills. In 1998 Maura and her husband Peter decided to find a new life for themselves and moved to a small cottage in Limerick. Within one year she landed the job of estate manager at Careysville and has been there ever since (11 years in total).
The estate of Careysville is owned by the Duke of Devonshire who also has residence in Lismore House. Maura and Peter are on call from 9am to 10pm, 7 days a week when the estate is in season (1st Feb - 30 Sept). Maura attends to breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner every day, they cater for up to 12 people a day. Famous guests include Tiger Woods, Mark O'Meara, JP McManus and Andrew Lloyd Webber and his wife who loves Maura's cooking. They love her hearty foods, her pancakes and her steak and kidney pie.
Arthur Zebo is Irish/French Chemical processor living in Cork. Arthur serves his family recipe of savoury spicy couscous at family events and friends parties. He has spent two years developing his recipe to date. His wife is his chief taste tester. He has appeared on Nationwide with his extensive collection of rare whiskeys.
Catherine Whitty (Finalist)
Catherine Whitty is a 57-year-old housewife living in Arklow. She's a mother of six. Catherine discovered that she had wheat intolerance and went about finding an alternative to flour. She now sells her spelt bread and cakes in small quantities to friends. She is investigating the possibility of growing her own spelt. She attends art classes and interior design classes.
Christopher Brack is 35-years-old. He's originally from Dublin and moved to Cork around 7 years ago. He works as an Industrial Chemist for Pfizer and spends his weekends on his allotment in Blarney with his wife. Christopher is a real foodie and loves to try out his recipes on his friends and family. He makes his own apple and cardamom chutney, he developed his recipe because he had such high yields that he didn't want to waste the apples. Chris is also a keen baker and helps friends run a market stall and supplies custard tarts for his friends' shop. He has travelled extensively and this has influenced his cooking.
Joe Condon is a farmer and rears Galloway cattle on his organic hill farm in the Knockmealdown Mountains in South Tipperary. He claims that his burgers are 100% organic. He began selling his burgers in 2005 at farmers' markets. He won the Bridgestone award in 2008. He has already appeared on Clodagh McKenna farmers' market show and Corrigan Knows Food.
38 year old Christine Jordan is from Rathmines, in Dublin and moved to Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow in 2001 where she and her husband Jim live in a Swedish Eco house that they built beside an old cottage on the banks of the River Barrow. Christine's mother's family is from Schull in West Cork, and the business of artisan food is something that she has been familiar with all her life. An industrial and furniture designer, food and cooking was always a second love and from a young age worked in restaurants in Dublin, Rome and the USA both front and back of house. She lived in Italy in 1988 and learned lots of secrets of Italian cooking, namely simplicity! She later combined her interests in design and food by working as a specialist kitchen designer.
After their house was built, Jim and Christine decided to set up a small cookery school in the old cottage, and people have been since travelling from all over the country for her classes which showcase local foods, and fill participants with enthusiasm for cooking from scratch. Christine also runs a catering business, and is keen to go into artisan food production as a next step. She was awarded with the Bridgestone Best in Ireland prize for 2007, 2008 and 2009. She is passionate about the health benefits of oats, but wants to include them in a tasty healthy product for babies and toddlers. A mother of three small children, she completely understands the needs of parents when it comes to feeding nutritious food to their children.
59-year-old Frank Krawczyk is a Charcutier with prize winning pork sausages from Schull. He has lived in West Cork since 1981. Krawczyk used to be solely a cheese maker but his business failed and he nearly lost his house. He started entertaining friends at home with his home cooking - this progressed into the making and selling of his sausages. His parents escaped the Stalin regime by moving to Uganda and Frank was born in a refugee camp there.
In 1998 he started to try and make Polish style dry sausages and salamis from recipes that were inherited by his maternal grandmother but realised the Pork in Ireland was different to his native land.He is well known on the farmers' market front and has appeared on 'Corrigan Knows Food' and in Richard Corrigan's new cookery book 'The Clatter of Forks and Spoons.
Maeve Lewis is a 54-year-old Corkonian. Her recipe was handed down from her mother. A passionate baker, she is always looking for something new to turn her hand to and thinks her products are just as good as those sold in stores and at markets. The family tradition lives on in Maeve's daughters who regularly bake the Florentines and in her son, who is the owner of a popular rustic tapas bar in Cork where her chocolate biscuits feature regularly! This fast talking mum of four, takes no prisoners and sees lots of potential for her slow-release energy food product.
Kevin MacNamidhe (Finalist)
Kevin MacNamidhe is 61 years of age. He grows his own herbs and makes his own butter on a small scale. Kevin is very passionate about his recipes and ingredients. His ranges of Saucie butters are all homemade using home grown herbs to flavour. He envisages them packaged in individual portions. Kevin runs his own community TV station in Navan.
Gail Cotter Buckley
Gail Cotter Buckley is 37 years old and from Aghada in east Cork. Her journey on the road to all things culinary began when she won first prize in her school for her scrambled egg at the age of eleven! Gail worked in the Jameson distillery in Midleton as Food and Beverage manager for six years. While there she also lectured part time in CIT and studied for a masters in hotel management and did a wine appreciation course. Her youngest daughter Robyn (8) was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 2½. She is one of three children with an insulin pump in Cork. Gail has been campaigning for more facilities for children with Diabetes in Cork. Gail still lectures fulltime in CIT in bar tending and is studying for a business honours degree.
Angela McCarthy is a solicitor in Cork who loves to cook for friends and colleagues. She regularly holds parties and has catered for up to 100 people at any one time. Angela's dinners are auctioned at law society functions. Married to a judge she has a product that could sell but needs help with it.