ROLLING, stuffing and cooking a rabbit in a bain marie proved to be just too much for MasterChef Ireland contestant Christine O’Sullivan.
Christine, from Kinsale, Co Cork, had been cooking up a storm in the hot and steamy kitchen but, as RTÉ’s John Murray put it yesterday, she just failed to pull the rabbit out of the hat.
Michelin-starred chef Dylan McGrath, one of the judges along with restaurateur Nick Munier, had put his apron on to give Christine and the other three remaining contestants a masterclass in how to cook a wild Irish rabbit with roasted Dublin Bay prawns, accompanied by Irish truffle and chervil — an intricate recipe with a three-hour cooking time.
Christine, 21, who has just completed her third year studying architecture at the University of Limerick, cried after being told her dish was not good enough to keep her in the competition.
“When things don’t go right for you, it is really, really tough,” she said as she hung up her apron at the end of the episode on RTÉ Two on Thursday night.
Taking part in MasterChef has been life-changing for Christine, who now realises she has a real flair for cooking and is planning to work as a trainee chef in a restaurant in Dublin.
“I love studying architecture but I am not getting the results I want from it,” she said. “MasterChef came around at just the perfect time for me. I am going to take a year off and give cooking a go. I know if I am passionate and hard-working I will succeed.
“My long-term ambition is to own a restaurant but I am young yet and have a lot to learn,” said Christine, whose parents, Ann and Christy, ran a restaurant called Bawnleigh Country House, just outside Kinsale, for eight years.
“I grew up in the restaurant and learned a lot from my mum, who is a great cook, and my parents always took us to really nice restaurants so we developed a good palate from a young age.”
Asked if she felt hard done by after losing the chance to take the coveted MasterChef Ireland title and a prize of €25,000, Christine admitted that her last dish was not great.
“I made a few mistakes and, ultimately, it just did not turn out the way I wanted it to,” she said.
* The MasterChef Ireland final airs next Tuesday and Thursday on RTÉ Two at 9.30pm.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved