The series promises to have MasterChef fans, foodies and cooking enthusiasts glued to their screens once a week for the next eleven weeks, as sixteen exceptional amateur cooks battle it out every Thursday night on RTÉ Two for the coveted MasterChef Ireland 2012 title and a prize of €25,000.

This season MasterChef Ireland fans can look forward to high drama as these exceptional amateur cooks are faced with a series of increasingly complex culinary challenges from mystery boxes with a twist, mass catering, cooking for a pop-up restaurant, molecular gastronomy taste tests, ice cream, a flying visit overseas and much more. Contestants will be eliminated at different stages of the series until there is one winner, the MasterChef Ireland 2012 champion.

MasterChef Ireland fans will be spoilt for choice as the series airs on Thursdays on RTÉ Two at 9:30pm and, in addition, this year listeners can follow the Masterchef journey on RTÉ 2fm as well. Tubridy will feature extensive extra preview coverage on Thursday mornings between 9am – 11am. On Friday mornings 2fm’s The Colm Hayes Show (11am-1pm) will feature the latest Masterchef Ireland news, interviews and updates.

MasterChef Ireland fans will also be able to go behind the scenes on for exclusive photos and interviews with the judges and contestants, updates on each episode, original recipes from the show and great competitions.

Judge Dylan McGrath is one of Ireland’s top chefs and won his first Michelin star at the age of just 30. His judging colleague Nick Munier is a Dublin restaurateur and Maitre d’, who has been in the industry for 23 years working for some of the world’s best chefs, including Marco Pierre White and the Roux brothers.

Earlier this year RTÉ Two announced the search for amateur cooks to take part in the highly anticipated return of MasterChef Ireland. Hundreds of applications were received from all over Ireland. Hopeful applicants had to make it through a number of rounds to get to the audition stage of the competition, with just 50 people going through to compete against some of the best amateur cooks in the country for a place in the Final 16.

As the series starts we meet the 50 hopefuls chasing a place in the final 16. The outstanding amateur cooks that make it through will be put through a series of intense culinary tasks and challenges testing their talent, skill and determination. Only one will have what it takes to be crowned MasterChef Ireland 2012 champion.