Culinary competition. The finalists cook a potato-based lunch for the workers on Patrick Howard's farm, before catering for five of Ireland's leading contemporary writers.
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16 celebrities have been battling to win the MasterChef crown.
Now we're down to the final three.
Why be in the competition unless you're prepared to really go for it?
These celebrities have already reached the top of their profession.
But can they cut it in the kitchen?
You get into a competition to win it.
At the end of the day, you want to win. I want to win.
I want to get my hands on the trophy 110 percent.
Cooking doesn't get tougher than this!
This is Dublin...
..a city celebrated for its generous hospitality
and world-famous literary history.
Kirsty and Phil are travelling to their first challenge,
30 miles north of the city.
I think the competition is wide open,
because you're only a challenge away or a task away
from complete humiliation and failure.
It's as if the outside world has sort of ceased to exist.
Countries are falling all around, and I'm worrying about my soup!
I'm cooking things I would have never dreamed I could do.
'It's all about confidence. I'm at the point where I'm more confident.'
It's exciting now.
Welcome to Ireland. You are here at Patrick Howard's farm.
Over 7,000 tons of potatoes
are processed through here every year.
Today you are cooking for the workers of this farm.
Each of you will cook three local recipes
using the majestic potato.
Lunch is at 12:30, and that is your kitchen.
The celebrities have been given nine potato recipes,
including two potato desserts.
Lunch is in just two hours and 45 minutes.
Irish food has always been about the community,
and today we have local produce for the local people,
and our guys have to make sure they do it justice.
Dublin coddle? What have you got for your pudding?
-I don't know how to do lemon tart.
To make their dishes, the celebrities have a selection
of seven different varieties of potato.
Phil's three recipes are Durrus cheese-and-potato gratin,
potato cake stuffed with lamb,
and for dessert, he will use potatoes for the filling
of a lemon tart.
To do all this, he will need to prep over four kilos of potatoes.
I've got four kilos I've got to get chopped and cubed,
so I want to get that out the way.
I'm probably not the best chopper in the world,
so it just takes me a lot of time.
Kirsty is making a black-pudding and warm-potato salad,
potato soda bread and a traditional Dublin coddle.
It's basically anything you have to hand,
so it's onions and bacon and sausages and potatoes,
all into a big dish.
And I'm just going to get everything into the pan and get it cooking.
Nick's three dishes are champ,
salmon wrapped in straw potatoes,
and a chocolate-and-potato hazelnut cake.
These are daring recipes we've asked our finalists to do here.
I mean, some of these are highly unusual.
Have you ever seen potatoes in desserts before?
Using them in desserts makes sense. It's starch.
It does exactly the same thing as flour. It gives body to the cake,
and it'll absolutely give body to that lemon tart.
The dessert takes nearly two hours in total,
with the cooling down and all that,
so I want to get this one in first, obviously.
In goes the potato,
which is a little bit strange, but...
there we go.
Patrick Howard has been farming potatoes for 30 years.
He's one of Ireland's 830 potato farmers,
who produce nearly half a million tons a years.
I'm expecting good potatoes today. I don't know what the chefs are cooking, but whatever they have,
we're looking forward to it.
Guys, it's time to mash it up. You've got an hour and 45.
You must be happy, a farming boy like you.
I am happy, mate, but I'm worried.
I've got a lot to do,
and I don't know how I'm going to get it all done in time.
-Which is the most demanding, then?
-It's just the prep, you know?
I've literally just chopped my potatoes. I'm a long way in,
-but I've got a lot to do.
-But the dishes no problem for you?
I've been that concentrating on getting the chopping done,
I haven't looked at my dishes properly yet.
Is there any way you could enlist the help of the others,
-if they finish?
-Might need to.
Phil looks worried. He doesn't think he's going to get done in time.
He's got a lot to do. I'm a rugby fan.
I've followed Phil's career closely. He has often come unstuck in Ireland.
Boil, boil, boil! Please boil.
Her coddle simmering, Kirsty gets to work on her soda bread.
Adding potato improves flavour and creates moisture.
I love making soda bread.
I've never made it with potato, and that will be fun, to taste that.
I always just make it with, um, wholemeal flour.
Cut through the middle.
Kirsty seems to be well in charge of her dishes. My main worry is,
she often makes silly little mistakes.
She needs to remain focussed. There are no shortcuts.
Let's hope she's learnt that.
For his fish dish to work,
Nick must completely encase the salmon in potato.
I couldn't work out how to stick the potatoes to the fish,
so I've come up with an idea to bond it - put a bit of butter in there,
and some flour,
and hopefully they'll stick more.
Nick right now seems to be right outside his comfort zone.
He's got a salmon with straw potatoes
that have to be wrapped around the salmon.
He's got no focus point. He's never eaten it,
he's never seen it. He needs to focus today.
He needs to just calm down a little bit. I know he can deliver.
Using the same technique as roulade,
he wraps the potato-covered salmon in a damp cloth
and chills in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Your final 40 minutes, guys. 40 minutes left.
You're going to have to work as a team. You really are.
With service approaching, Kirsty checks on her soda bread
before starting on her black-pudding potato salad.
That's your salad.
-Your coddle's done. That's ready to go as well.
-OK. And your other dish?
-My soda breads are ready.
Soda bread's done. Fine. So you're almost there.
Nick has managed to encase his salmon in a thick layer of potato.
He's going to just try and pan-fry.
I don't know how he can pan-fry through that thick potato
and get that salmon cooked.
With time running out, Phil is only just starting the mash
for his lamb potato cakes.
The gratin is ready to go, but his lemon tart hasn't been started.
He is so behind, Kirsty's now doing the pastry for him.
He is just not getting anything done.
So, that's the lemon tart. How about the big one, the lamb cake?
The lamb cake's off being processed now.
Right. OK. Are you doing that at the same time as your lemon filling?
Er, John's stepped in. He's playing the piano for me.
-You did get behind there, didn't you?
-Yeah. Way behind.
-You know you got 30 minutes left, don't you?
The sound of the tractors pulling up is the guys arriving for their lunch.
I'm expecting something different,
potatoes done a different way,
and we're looking forward to it.
Oh, very hungry. I hope there's something nice in here.
You got ten minutes. Just ten minutes.
I was a bit concerned, because it's quite a thick layer, you see.
So what I'm doing is, I'm flash-frying 'em,
then I'm going to get them all on a baking sheet
and just blast them in the oven for five minutes before we go.
Honestly, guys, how far are we before we can serve lunch?
-Nick? How long?
-Kirsty, you're ready to go.
As long as my eggs are boiled and I can cut them in half and lay them, I'm fine.
With the farmers waiting, Nick finishes off his champ...
..while Kirsty mixes potato into Phil's lemon-tart filling.
We're always very punctual in Ireland. Tummy getting hungry!
-That'll do me just now.
Sauce ready to go. Mash is up. Yours is up. That's fine. Beans is up.
-Ladies and gentlemen, time for lunch.
-It is salmon. Want a bit of this sauce?
Nick is serving salmon wrapped in potato
with a chive cream sauce and champ.
The salmon is very tasty. The sauce of the salmon is very tasty.
The champ was just a little bit on the wet side.
Yeah. But it was lovely.
'The potato casing round the fish
'is not crispy on the outside, and it's not cooked all the way through.'
You're meant to have bits of potato wrapped round strips of salmon.
He's put a potato cover over both sides of the fish.
It's supposed to celebrate the potato, and the great thing on there is the sauce.
-There you go.
-There you are.
-Potato and mince pies.
-And one of those.
-Excellent. Thank you.
-Best thing you eat today.
Phil has cooked Durrus cheese-and-potato gratin.
He has also made potato cakes stuffed with minced lamb.
They're all enjoying the food. Everybody's quiet.
The potato cakes was gorgeous.
The gratin was cheesy and the bacon very tasty.
Nice and cheesy, like, you know? Very tasty. It's unusual.
I've never really had it before, but it was nice.
Sticky on the outside, lovely and crispy,
and then inside, that well flavoured, delicious lamb mince.
-And I really like the gratin as well.
Rich, tangy cheese with bits of bacon.
-Do you want some bread?
-Coddle, is it?
You want sauces with it? Would you like some bread?
Kirsty has made warm-potato and Irish black-pudding salad,
potato soda bread and Dublin coddle.
Well, I've tasted the coddle and it's lovely.
That is beautiful.
I'm very, very impressed.
Can't believe potatoes can taste as well.
It's very well done, very well cooked, I must say,
and I think if a few of the Irish housewives got a lesson
from your chefs, there'll be a lot more potatoes eaten in Ireland.
The soda bread is a complete revelation. That is yummy.
Well seasoned, well made, well cooked. Kirsty, good job.
This is the Dublin coddle. I really like that.
The potatoes are falling apart, making it a nice wet mush.
It's too sloppy for you. That's your southern-hemisphere taste buds!
-No, it's the texture.
-That's right! Sloppy and wet.
-But the potato's almost completely disintegrating,
so when you bite into it, it disappears in your mouth
-in a powdered weirdness.
-It's not powdered weirdness, John.
It's called thick and hearty, bit like me and you.
-That's not right!
With the mains served, the farmers return for pudding.
-What's this, then?
-It's chocolate potato pudding.
Nick is serving chocolate-and-hazel potato cake,
Phil and Kirsty a baked lemon tart.
-Can I have a little bit more, please?
-There's loads of it.
-What can I get you?
-Sure, we'll have a bit of everything.
-All right. Thank you.
-I'm glad that's over with!
-We did it.
-Well done, fella.
I had the potato chocolate cake, and I thought it was lovely.
The hazelnuts were lovely in it, and kind of a taste of ginger.
It was absolutely beautiful.
The lemon filling was very nice.
The pastry, I thought maybe... a little bit heavy, you know?
I'd like to see a bit more crispier.
It tasted very nice.
It's sweet and it's chocolate and it's hazelnut,
and there's a bit of nutmeg in there as well, but it's really moist.
Really, really quite delicious, that is.
But the underlying flavour is all that cinnamon and nutmeg
in the case, so it's quite spicy, with a creamy top.
-Yeah, it's very good. Very good.
-Now Phil's lemon tart.
-That's good. I didn't think that would set.
The whole thing, cos that pastry's quite thick -
-it's a bit floury in my mouth.
-It's the texture, isn't it?
The texture is unusual. But the flavour is like a mild lemon-custard tart.
-He's done all right, but...
-He needed help.
-He needed help.
That tart hadn't even been started with 30 minutes to go.
I can't believe it's actually done.
-Hello. Empty plates!
We must compliment you on the quality of the food
that was produced today. Everything, from A to Z, was fabulous.
You've done a very good job on potato dishes.
You've opened our eyes, and the very best of luck in future.
Oh, thank you very much.
I never knew you could put potatoes in desserts.
That was a first for me today.
So, yeah, very versatile is the potato!
Lots of pressure. At one point it was very, very frantic.
But I think we pulled it off. I think we pulled it off OK.
I hope I performed, because I think it's really important,
because there's a kind of false sense of security
that just because you're not out, you think, "I'll be fine, then."
But every challenge means you have to raise your game a little higher.
Today for our three, down on the farm and cooking for farm workers.
Tomorrow, a different story altogether.
Dublin is synonymous with such prominent literary figures
as George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett,
Oscar Wilde and James Joyce.
It's a place that inspires individual expression,
imagination and creativity.
To celebrate this, the finalists are travelling to Farmleigh.
Originally home to the Guinness family,
it was where President Obama and the Queen both stayed
during their recent state visits.
Welcome. Ireland is famous for many things,
but its literary tradition is fabled.
You today are preparing lunch
for five of Ireland's leading contemporary writers.
This is your chance to truly impress. Good luck.
The celebrities have devised their own menus
and have just three hours before lunch is served.
For his starter, Phil is making fresh crab
with micro salad.
Phil needs to step it up. He didn't have a great day yesterday.
His timings went awry.
I've got a lot of chopping to do, and you know what I'm like with chopping.
Phil, your first course sounds really sort of intricate.
It's a pretty simple dish. Lots of flavours.
They've got to come together, not overdo it.
I want the crab to do the talking. I want it to look pretty.
You said it's a simple dish. It's got about 35 ingredients
running through it. It's actually quite complex.
You're doing little brique with bits of basil through the middle of them.
My concern is, at service time, all these intricate parts,
-getting it onto that plate.
It's a good concern.
Nick's main is lamb wellington
served with a selection of spring vegetables.
Today Nick has got lamb with pastry surrounding it,
that he's got to cook perfectly.
Yesterday he had fish with potato surrounding it,
which he didn't pull off. He's got to get it right today.
He has got a strange combination of ingredients.
There is a sauce made with vermouth, mixed with a chicken mousse,
stuffed inside with that lamb and the pastry round the outside.
If he pulls that off, it will be absolutely brilliant.
'When I go wrong, I flap a little bit.'
I'm going to try today to make sure everything's prepped,
everything's ready, and then hopefully it'll all be ready to go.
I'm sure there'll be some problems along the way.
For dessert, Kirsty has chosen to make a raspberry trio
of sorbet, madeleines and creme brulee.
She's really set herself some work. I'm not sure she can pull it off.
If she does, John, she may have taken a step towards the title.
So, sorbet, lemon juice...
I'm more worried about you than anybody else.
With all three of yours, you don't know whether it's going OK
until you pull it out of the machine, the fridge or the oven.
And by that time you're up the creek without a poodle.
Nothing I can do about it. I've chosen to do something
that is all towards the final moment.
-You're going for it, honey, ain't you?
This is a big day.
Once again, Phil has a huge amount of prep,
starting with cooking and dressing ten crabs.
Just getting the white crab meat out the claws.
What I don't want to do is just smash it up.
You know when you buy crab meat in a packet, it's all like a pulp?
You want to try and keep some nice big chunks,
so people really know and can see it's fresh crab,
and you've taken the time to, you know, get it out properly.
That's the perfect one.
That's one out of 20!
Well done, Phil.
Phil kicks off starters, and two worries.
One is that he's absolutely made sure
he's cleaned and got all the shell and cartilage out of that crab,
and secondly that he's left enough time for the presentation.
To decorate his dish,
Phil will also be making feuilles-de-brick biscuits -
whole basil leaves baked between two pieces
of translucent filo pastry.
One hour and 15 minutes for your first course for lunch.
Nick starts with his wellington filling.
To make the mousse light, he passes the chicken through a sieve
before blending it with vermouth, mint, egg whites and cream.
Vermouth, chicken mousse, lamb, pastry.
How does that come together?
Well, I've tried it out, and I think it's all right.
And what's the most dangerous part of this dish?
It's the timing and the chicken mousse.
I don't want it to overtake the pastry and go too soggy.
-That's my main worry.
-Soggy wellington's not good, no.
The lamb wellington - if it goes soggy
because that chicken mousse doesn't set properly,
it won't be a very nice dish. We'll end up with chicken soup
wrapped around lamb with pastry bits on top.
One hour and then we serve.
I've still got to do loads.
I've got to do all my filo pastry, lay 'em all out,
get them cooking, then I've got to do all my veg.
I've still got my sauce to do.
Thought I had loads of time, and it just creeps up on you, don't it?
Suddenly you're in a bit of trouble.
Sorbet churning, Kirsty makes the mixture
for her creme brulee.
So we start at 26.
For Kirsty it's all about the preparation,
and fingers crossed that everything will work -
the sorbet sets, the creme brulee is set,
and those madeleines come out beautiful.
Not one thing that could trip her up, not two, but three things, John.
So risky. So risky!
Today's lunch is being hosted by Jane Alger,
the director of Dublin, UNESCO City of Literature.
Her guests are five Irish writers
who between them have sold millions of books worldwide -
Cathy Kelly, number-one bestselling author of female fiction,
John Connolly, internationally acclaimed crime writer...
Eoin Colfer, a New York Times bestselling author
of teen literature,
Sinead Moriarty, author of seven novels
selling over 16 million books worldwide,
and John Boyne, celebrated author of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas.
Your guests have just arrived. That means 30 minutes to lunch.
-Half an hour to go. Are you on schedule?
-You said 20 minutes to plate up, so is anything still cooking?
-So we're now ready to...
-Last bits of prep. Ready to start plating.
No shell in the crab?
-If there's shell in that crab, mate, you can stab me.
With his lamb loin seared, Nick adds the chilled chicken mousse.
-This is the famous mousse. Set enough?
Each of them has got to be wrapped up, then...
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
-Then you want 20 minutes in the oven.
-20 to 25, yeah.
Oh, Nicholas, come on, mate! Get a grip.
Across the kitchen, Kirsty checks on her cremes brulees.
They're OK, cos they'll look lovely with their tops on,
-but they're not...
-They're not curdled, are they?
I've got a spare, which I'm just about to look at.
Just have a look and see what the texture's like inside.
The brulee has curdled.
Well, yeah, it's up to you. But I think you're risking it.
Get those in the fridge. Have you time to make another batch?
I don't know. I'll just check.
I'm not sure enough about them being any good to leave it like this,
and it's worth doing it properly.
She's making another batch, which is tight - very, very tight indeed.
Where's she going to be? That is the centrepiece of her dessert.
Excuse me, please, ladies and gentlemen.
-If you would like to make your way to the dining room, lunch is about to be served.
Brick biscuits and micro salad. Micro salad sounds like a leaf of rocket.
I think a lot of pressure's on for good crab,
because I'm from Wexford town, which is a seaside town.
My dad's a fisherman. One thing we do know about is crab.
The pressure is on, cos we want to get off to a good start, don't we?
Five minutes, Phil, please. They're waiting. You have five minutes.
Could you make sure you present the plates...
-Like that, yeah. Please. That's right. Thank you.
OK. Thank you.
I'm really pleased. I just hope they enjoy it,
but I can't control that. I've tasted,
and hopefully I've done enough. But, yeah, I'm really pleased.
Phil has made a micro-leaf salad
of fresh white crab topped with a brown-crab and Tabasco dressing,
served with feuilles-de-brick biscuits,
crispy pancetta and green-herb dressing.
It's a wonderful smell. That smells fantastic.
-It's absolutely fantastic.
There's a hint of spice in there with the little chillies,
and then there's that lovely peppery spiciness
from the little micro leaves.
Mm! So peppery and hot. Fabulous!
There are a lot of strong flavours in there,
but none of them are overpowering,
and none of them overpower the crab, which is the important thing.
These are just a joy to even look at, not to mind eat.
It's the most delicate, beautiful thing I've ever seen.
And the pancetta is lovely. It's a lovely complement to the crab.
And all in all, I would say fantastic.
Look at our plates - clean!
Everybody really enjoyed the starter.
We love the flavours. They all mixed together really nicely.
As a person who knows something about shellfish,
-I was really impressed, so congratulations.
Thank you very much.
I was absolutely chuffed with the dish,
chuffed with how it panned out, and everyone's plate was clean,
so that's always a good sign. It couldn't have been that bad.
Back in the kitchen, Kirsty gets her second batch of cremes brulees
in the oven.
But she is now behind with her madeleines.
But the pressure is now all on Nick.
-Nick, you got ten minutes left.
-So, is this it now? Final touches?
-Good lad. Done?
-Well done, you.
-Plates over to the pass.
-Here you go, gents.
Nick has made lamb wellington with a chicken, vermouth and mint mousse,
served with a selection of spring vegetables
and red-wine reduction.
The lamb... I'd have to say the lamb's a little bit overdone.
It's a bit of a tough call to cut.
It must be so difficult to time it,
and the pastry as well. That must be really a nightmare.
-Yeah, that must be a nightmare.
-The pastry was lovely,
and there was some kind of sauce inside the pastry which was lovely.
The jus was fantastic, and I really love the asparagus.
But I thought the lamb was not cooked properly.
-It was beautifully presented,
and a lovely idea. I love anything en croute.
The jus was beautiful, and I could eat that pastry all day.
The lamb was a little tough. I can see the difficulty
-when you have it en croute, cos you can't tell.
-That was my worry.
I wanted it a little bit redder, but once it's done it's done.
Anyway, thank you ever so much. Thank you very much.
Thank you. See you later.
Raspberry plate sounds very straightforward,
so I'm interested to know what they'll do with the raspberries.
Will it be raspberries on a plate, or something more fancy? I'm assuming it will.
-Right, right, right, right, right. Young lady, is that set?
We've got seven brulees. You've got to plate all these up yet,
and I reckon you've got just over ten minutes.
-Get yourself organised. No-one's been late yet.
-All right? Don't buck the trend.
That was nearly a catastrophe.
-Kirsty, it's time to serve.
-Thank you very much.
I love baking, so doing the madeleines was fantastic.
I thought I loved making cremes brulees, but I don't any more.
At the moment I'm off creme brulee.
Kirsty has made raspberry and mure sorbet,
madeleines sprinkled with raspberry dust,
and raspberry creme brulee.
It looks fantastic. On the menu it said it was a raspberry plate,
which I don't think is a very good description
of something that looks very exciting and very tasty.
The sorbet was amazing, just so tangy,
and I loved the little madeleines.
The creme brulee is gorgeous, but it's split a bit.
The presentation is gorgeous - very simple,
but very colourful, lovely contrast of colours.
The madeleines are gorgeous, and they have a dusting of raspberry on them,
which is delicious. Yes, the creme brulee is soggy in the middle,
but it does taste delicious, so if you close your eyes,
you're having a good dessert.
Is this scary?
Very scary. So, what did you make of it?
I thought this was a really ambitious dessert, actually.
It looked wonderful on the plate.
Some things were absolutely fantastic.
These madeleines are particularly wonderful.
They are the best I've tasted, absolutely fantastic.
The creme brulee, slightly soggy.
Seemed to have separated a little bit.
But altogether, certainly my favourite dish of the evening.
-Oh, thank you so much.
-I thought it was absolutely lovely.
'I'm not saying it was victory from the jaws of defeat,
'but I got there.'
They liked it. They liked it, and they loved the madeleines,
and so that's great, cos I really like to do good madeleines.
Our finalists have now seen both ends of the culinary world
here in Ireland, and they've acquitted themselves very well.
Phil today did himself proud. He made that crab salad,
and it was stunning. Everything was done with absolute precision.
That guy is getting better and better.
Hopefully I've shown John and Gregg that I really want this,
and I'm serious about what I do.
Nick huffed a bit and puffed a bit, and actually, not a bad dish.
I like the chicken mousse with a little bit of vermouth.
But lamb, too tough!
It was the execution of the dish today that went a bit awry.
I want to do well because I want to win,
and we all want to win. Yeah, no mistakes.
Just get your head down, make lovely food,
and win MasterChef.
Talk about the contestants pushing themselves - Kirsty really did.
Maybe she pushed herself a little bit too far,
because she had such a technically challenging dish to perform.
She didn't manage to pull it off. I mean, only inches away,
but those inches are the difference between good and brilliant.
I think the competition's incredibly hot as it is.
It's practically at boiling point.
So may the best person win, but it's just been such fun.
So, there we are - three great cooks,
but still, in my mind, all to play for.
There's only one more test before the final, John -
the final that will decide our Celebrity MasterChef winner.
Tomorrow...the three finalists face their ultimate challenge...
OK, big moment. Let's step up!
..the Chef's Table.
-How intense is it going to get?
Hot, hot, hot, hot!
We have thrown a spanner, a firework and a Molotov cocktail
into that kitchen. It is no longer a calm place.
Get off me!
You won the World Cup. This is easy!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
The final week continues, and the battle to become champion sees the finalists heading to Ireland.
First, the celebrities must cook lunch for the workers on Patrick Howard's farm. Patrick is one of Ireland's 830 potato farmers, who alone produce 7,000 tons of potatoes every year. The finalists must prepare three local recipes each for the hungry workers, all of which contain the majestic potato, including desserts. Will the chocolate and hazelnut potato cake be a hit?
Next, the celebrities travel to the majestic Farmleigh, originally home to the Guinness family, and home to both President Obama and the Queen on their recent state visits. Having devised their own menus, the celebrities have three hours to prepare lunch for five of Ireland's leading contemporary writers, who between them have sold millions of books worldwide. Can their food live up to the esteemed guests and prestigious surroundings?
Only one contestant can be crowned Celebrity MasterChef Champion 2011.