Mary Carney was named the inaugural MasterChef Ireland winner in 2011 by judges Nick Munier and Dylan McGrath, after reaching the finals alongside Bridín Carey and Mike Curran. The 29-year-old from Waterford city says that her mother is her culinary inspiration. Her dream is to run a café in the style of her culinary hero, Yotam Ottolenghi but with the current economic climate that ambition is temporarily on hold. In 2012, Carney
Normally better known for teaching the world how to dress, stylist Gok Wan has gone back to his family roots (his dad runs a Chinese restaurant) with his new Channel 4 food series, Gok Cooks Chinese. He aims to bring an authentic Chinese flavour to your cooking proving that the cuisine can be a healthy option.
Bridín Carey reached the finals of MasterChef Ireland 2011 alongside Mary Carney and Mike Curran. Originally from Tipperary, she lives in Dublin with her husband Brian. Before the show, she worked as a Senior Occupational Therapist in the National Rehabiliation Hospital. Her audition dish was Tournedo of Organic Salmon, Rosti, Beetroot and Horseradish Cream.
Classically trained, Ed started his career at The Dorchester. He then spent several years working France, Italy and Australia and, upon returning to London, he worked at top ranking restaurants like the chic Armani Café, Bibendum and the The River Café. He was executive chef at Daphne's before starting his own restaurant in Soho, Randall & Aubin which has been a great success for the past twelve years. Ed made several TV series for both BBC and ITV. He has appeared on Great Food Live and Ready Steady Cook, was a frequent guest on Saturday Kitchen and is a regular on Daily Cook's Challenge.
In 1993 Gordon became chef of Aubergine in London. Within three years, was awarded two Michelin stars. In 1998, at the age of 31, Ramsay set up his first wholly owned and namesake restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, which quickly received the most prestigious accolade in the culinary world - three Michelin stars. Today, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is London's longest-running restaurant to hold this award, and Ramsay is one of only four chefs in the U.K. to maintain three stars. Gordon has also become a star of the small screen with shows like Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen. He is also a published author of a number of books, many of which have become bestsellers around the world, most notably his autobiography, Roasting in Hell's Kitchen.
Cork woman Christine was finishing up her third year of an architecture degree in the University of Limerick when she entered RTÉ MasterChef Ireland 2011 and reached the semi-final stage. Christine’s goal and ambition is to design, run and work in her own restaurant where her personality can be shown through the food, decor and service. Her audition dish was Grilled fillet of steak with creamed white beans and leeks topped with crispy rosemary and lemon scented chips
Launched in Ireland in 1996, Dubliner Irish Cheese is now a well-known brand in the Irish market. Dubliner Cheese prides itself on being a multi-award winning cheese, owing to lifetimes of heritage cheese-making. The flavour and taste of Dubliner is both distinct and unique. It is firm with a rounded flavour and a stable, slightly dry texture. Smooth to the palate, it leaves a gentle sweet lingering aftertaste.
38-year-old MasterChef Ireland contestant Sinead lives in Dublin with her husband and her 21-month-old daughter Mila. She is the owner of Upstage, an interior design business and is also a part-time milliner. She is very creative and came runner up in Grazia magazine's Hat Factor Competition judged by Philip Treacy. She is really into her ingredients and specialist shops such as Fallon and Byrne. She lived and worked in Australia as a restaurant reviewer for The Age Good Food Guide 11 years ago. She loves experimenting and being creative and particularly with dishes, experimenting with different flavours and food combinations. Sinead loves Spanish food and tapas, and has a very special affinity to Madrid and its foods, and also as her dad lives there and she got married in a small village to the north of the city near Segovia. www.sineadconsidine.ie
Mike Curran reached the finals of MasterChef Ireland 2011 alongside Bridín Carey and Mary Carney. Curran is originally from Tipperary and lives in Clare with his wife, Olivia and their two children. Mike would love to open a restaurant near the sea in Kilkee, using local seasonal produce. Curran's audition dish was Asian-inspired Crab Spring Roll with Pickled Ginger, Japanese dipping sauce and Tempura Chive Flowers.
This 25-year-old MasteChef Ireland contestant lives in Stonybatter in Dublin with her three-year-old daughter Rose. She is a box office supervisor in a music and cultural centre. Caitríona says she fell in love with food when she became pregnant with her daughter and began to read lots of cook books! Her parents are great cooks that grow their own veg and rear their own meat from time to time. They are her biggest influence. She never had processed food growing up as everything was made from scratch and this is a big influence on her own approach to food. Caitriona is a big fan of hot and cold desserts and calls it "the epitome of comfort food".
Originally from Clyde Valley in Scotland, Clare Anne now lives in Cork and reached the final few weeks in RTÉ MasterChef Ireland 2011. O'Keefe has been working in the food industry for over 20 years and she centres her cooking on good produce and seasonality. Her audition dish was Quail stuffed with Persian scented rice served with pan roasted Cherries and Spring Onion, Star Anise flavoured sauce and a Saffron and Almond Tuille.
This 27-year-old who lives in Kilbarrack in Dublin has just returned from travelling the world for four years. Conn has a passion for food and is really eager to learn more. When he was young he would wait until his parents' dinner parties were over and would devour all the left overs. His travels have influenced his cooking especially the cuisine of South East Asia where the ingredients and creativity of the locals inspire him to be more creative. When he first started traveling Asia 4 years ago Conn fell in love with Asian cuisine and in particular Thai and Vietnamese food. The reason for this, he states, were the dishes they create full of incredible flavours and freshness using only local ingredients and the freshest fish. He would love to become a successful head chef one day.
Brian (42) is competing in MasterChef Ireland and is originally from Ballymena but now is settled in Dublin. Brian is a huge foodie! When he was young his grandmother would cook curries and meat ragu that were considered very exotic at the time and this allowed his imagination to transport him to far off places. A dream of his was realised when he got to eat at the French Laundry in California in 2008. He says that if he could turn back time he would pursue a career in food. Brian loves to experiment with food and take traditionally classic combinations and present them with a modern twist. He is a perfectionist when it comes to the cooking of food.
44-year-old Joe lives in Dublin with his wife and two kids where he works as a flight operations controller for Cargloux, based in Luxembourg. Joe’s work involves training pilots on navigation but his dream would be to own his own restaurant one day. A native of Westmeath, Joe has travelled the world with his job. He is passionate about food and has completed a one month cookery course in the Dublin Cookery School. He likes to think of himself as an all rounder but feels he is strongest at desserts. He hopes that MasterChef will help him to achieve his dream of working in the food industry one day.