This is MasterChef Ireland – the final ten.  Over the last 4 weeks, 18 amateur cooks have battled it out for a coveted place in the final 10. The Heats are over and Nick and Dylan have chosen the best chefs to go forward.

This week, all ten cooks come together for the first time and must now work with each other. The chefs are split into two teams of five with their challenge being to prepare canapés for a post-match reception for the players and guests of the All Ireland Hurling Finalists of Cork and Clare, taking place in Croke Park. With 200 people attending the reception, the chefs need to make 2,100 canapés in just 6 hours! Splitting the required total of 2,100 in half, each team of five must make 1,050 canapés.

With Nick believing that they have quite a few “headstrong” people left in the final ten, standards, and tensions, run high!  Referring to the All-Ireland Hurling Final as “one of the biggest events in the Irish sporting calendar”, Dylan puts the pressure on and the cooks must prove that they have what it takes to deliver top class results.

On the Blue Team we see Rich, Edel, Nessa, Niamh and Charlie band together to prepare caramelised shallot and gubeen tarts, slow roasted lamb shoulders with baba ghanoush in pitas, and crab and ginger wontons. 

Flying the flag for the Red Team Hugh, Diana, Mark, Nick and Sonia prepare mini Yorkshire puddings with seared beef, scotch quails eggs, and smoked salmon blinis with crème fraiche.

Stepping up as team leader for the Blue Team, Rich recognises the “massive task ahead”, but feels he will “keep it in perspective” and is confident that it will run smoothly. However, as the clock ticks on, Rich has a more relaxed approach to his position as team leader and tensions begin to develop as natural born leader Niamh steps in to place order on the kitchen. 

On the Red Team, Hugh has been elected as leader. Hugh steps in strong with a clear focus and vision of how everything must run, nominating team members to lead each one of the canapés, and seems to have a strong team strategy, leaving the Red Kitchen to start off smoothly. However, problems arise when Hugh delegates the task of preparing 350 quail eggs to Dubliner Sonya, which proves to be much more time consuming than previously anticipated.  With time running out, 3 out of  the 5 team members drop everything to work on the eggs, leaving student Mark to prepare 350 smoked salmon blinis on his own...

With Clare supporters arriving in their droves, in the judges’ corner, Dylan starts to wonder if the teams will have enough time to pull of their challenge. Nick believes that “Hugh needs to put pressure on the team”, and both judges question whether or not Rich is the right choice to lead the team to victory. Remarking on Niamh’s uprising, Dylan quips that in the Blue Kitchen, “It’s like mutiny in there.”

As the match closes to a draw outside, Dylan warns the chefs, “You cannot afford to not be ready. You’ve had six hours to do three canapés, it’d be hugely embarrassing if you don’t pull this off.”

Will team leaders Hugh and Rich pull it off? Tune in to RTÉ One tomorrow Tuesday at 8:30pm to find out.