Food & Wine, Ireland

Ballymaloe BallyMasterChef BallyMurty

If your interest was piqued by the wonderful cookery school where the season finale of MasterChef is taking place.

Over three episodes this week it’s, er, Ballymaloe BallyMasterChef BallyMurty.

No the heat from the kitchen isn’t getting to me.

It’s just I fancy I should be mentioned in the same Ballymaloe breath as the master chefs who have been teasing us with their creations.

Their efforts have been beamed into the homes of around 7.5 million people across Britain airing on BBC One yesterday.

Although my artistry at making pasta in Ballyknocken, Co. Wicklow, seen only by readers of this blog (just slightly less).

Yes, that was when I joined a cookery class in association with Top Flight a couple of years ago.

Catherine the Great

Do you want a hand: With Catherine Fulvio

And I was supervised by the force of nature that is Ballymaloe Catherine Fulvio.

Nor was it my first stab at cooking in Ireland with a more than passable attempt at Spanish pulpo (octupus) in Dublin some time earlier.

Ole: With the Spaniards

Back to the special Ireland MasterChef cooking challenge.

And it took place last year and was supported by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland.

What a Corker

Girning Gregg: He must have seen mine

Viewers saw the final four contestants travel to Cork, together with judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

There they met with Darina Allen and Rory O’Connell of Ballymaloe Cookery School.

For a whirlwind education in local Irish produce and the ethos of ‘farm-to-table’.

The finalists were challenged to prepare a celebratory dinner.

For some of Ireland’s finest food producers, food historians and relatives of the late, great patron of Irish cuisine, Myrtle Allen.

The second episode of this season’s MasterChef ‘Finals Week’ airs this evening and the third episode will air tomorrow.

Publicity and broadcasts like this are a key element of Tourism Ireland’s programme of activity.

To encourage travellers in Britain, and elsewhere around the world, to put Ireland on their holiday wish-list for this year and beyond.

Julie noted

Pasta master: Your bolognese will be with you soon

And so over to Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain.

She said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted that MasterChef chose to film in Cork and Ballymaloe Cookery School, as part of its ‘Finals Week’.

“With viewers across Britain waiting with huge anticipation to find out who will be crowned the champion of MasterChef 2022, this is a superb opportunity for us.

“To showcase our delicious local produce, wonderful culinary offering and beautiful landscapes to an audience of around 7.5 million.

“It will remind viewers across Britain that Ireland is a great choice for a ‘foodie’ holiday.”

Food for thought

And, I can vouch for that and though the best meals can longer be eaten in Applewood Heights, Greystones, now Mrs M has taken her recipes back over to Scotland.

But should you be in Dublin then Chapter One, The Ivy and One Pico were some of the faves I pushed my return to the office desk for.

While I must also mention my cousin’s The Workshop by the Liffey.

Although I haven’t quite forgiven my old restaurant critic writer Tom Doorley for giving them a less than favourable review.

What he’d have thought of Ballymaloe BallyMasterChef BallyMurty is anyone’s guess.

And an equally great Catherine

Here’s to you: With Catherine Murphy in Val D’Isere

A word here too to a great pal, the one I have come to know as Murphski, Catherine Murphy.

Catherine, who was good enough to be my ski writer and won that award year after year, has just been named Ireland’s Travel Writer of the Year.

I have been lucky enough to have joined her on some of those trips, from Las Vegas to Tenerife to just last month Val D’Isere.

My only regret is that I wasn’t in Dublin to clink Champagne glasses and say Slainte with Ireland’s best Travel Writer.




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