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Tracy falls at the third to join the Cooke who can’t cook

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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So, Celebrity Masterchef Ireland on RTE 1 has reached the halfway mark and on Sunday they entertained us with the most technical task yet – recreating a very complicated dessert.

 

 

For those of us who like our cookery programme, what better combination than putting celebs through their paces in the kitchen.

 

It’s hard to say why certain programmes are popular with audiences but one thing for sure is that the novelty of any idea wears thin after a while, which is probably why the odd Celebrity version is made to pique our interest.

 

Unlike the other reality show on TV3 involving celebs in a jungle, it is not the public who decide who goes but the two judges, in this case Nick Munier and Dylan McGrath.

 

That meant of course that the two brimming with personality with little or no cooking skills got booted out first, comedian Gary Cooke and a model and broadcaster, Kamal Ibrahim.

 

Though I appreciate that contestants have to be booted out to find a winner, it is funnier watching people making a mess and Cooke definitely didn’t live up to his surname and gave us a few laughs. And poor Kamal, I would say, never had to cook for himself in his life. The expressions on his face as he heard culinary descriptions for the first time proved this, God love him. He was very likeable though and, I suspect, he may have caught the cooking bug after his short time on this show.

 

That left the more serious contestants, ones who really want to win the title.

 

On Sunday, the third in the series, it was desserts, not my own strong point, and as well as recreating a dessert made by the guest pastry chef, Claire Clarke from the French Laundry restaurant, they also had to make a dessert that was a nod to their childhood.

 

Most of them admitted they rarely had desserts when they were children but they were inventive enough and gave us viewers some new ideas.

 

It’s probably not surprising that the 400m sprinter, Dave Gillick, is so competitive but I believe he could be our winner.

 

His biggest competition is Maia Dunphy, another broadcaster who recently gave us a documentary about how much wine women consume.

 

Married to comedian Johnny Vegas, she has obviously been practising a lot in the kitchen in preparation for the Masterchef challenge.

 

Yvonne Keating, ex-wife of Ronan and apparently a woman of leisure, admitted from the start that she doesn’t really cook but she seems to be thriving.

 

Newsreader Aengus Mac Grianna is a nifty little cook and seems to be enjoying every minute of it.

 

Galway native, Conor Pope, a consumer journalist with The Irish Times, comes across as very earnest and despite his loud protestations, he is still in the competition.

 

Sports journalist Tracy Piggot handed in her apron on Sunday night, not surprisingly. Though she appeared to have some cooking skills, her presentation let her down every time but so too, I suspect, did her attitude. I got the feeling she gelled least with the rest of the group and that the judges didn’t like her, but I could be wrong. That’s part of the enjoyment of watching Masterchef — watching how the contestants perform under pressure and time constraints. And there’s the added pressure of being filmed and closely watched while cooking.

 

Claire Clark was very kind and appeared to like everything they made. The contestants showed their humanity by being genuinely thrilled when Claire praised them. Yeah, even celebs are human!

 

This group are not bad cooks at all. And Maia could almost work in a professional kitchen. Claire suggested she could work in hers.

 

Unlike previous Celebrity Masterchef from the UK, our own celebs are not throwing tantrums or playing to the gallery and they  appear to appreciate the opportunity of picking up a few new skills.

 

The programme makers have just finished looking for contestants drawn from the general public for an Autumn series. I wasn’t tempted because though I love cooking, I don’t have the patience for precision and presentation. My style is more rustic, which wouldn’t go down well on Masterchef.

 

It continues for another three Sundays on RTE 1 at 9.30pm.

CITY TRIBUNE

Sunday evening concert offers All the Pleasures

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Sunday evening’s concert will be performed by the Resurgam Choir and Irish Baroque Orchestra (pictured), under director Peter Whelan.

Music by George Frederic Handel and Henry Purcell as well as a world premiere by Irish composer Rhona Clarke will feature in Resounding Landscapes, a concert being presented by Music for Galway in association with Galway 2020 this Sunday, November 22. It will be live-streamed from the city’s St Nicholas’ Church, starting at 7pm.

It’s the second concert in the Abendmusik (Evening Music) series of vocal and choral performances, which forms part of Music for Galway’s programme for the European Capital of Culture project.

Sunday’s event will feature Welcome to all the Pleasures by the 17th century composer, Henry Purcell with text by Cristopher Fishburn; the world premiere of Rhona Clarke’s O Vis Aeternitatis – based on writings by the 12th century mystic, Hildegard of Bingen; and Handel’s Dixit Dominus.

The programme will be performed by the Resurgam Choir and Irish Baroque Orchestra (IBO), under director Peter Whelan, who is director of the IBO.

Creator of the Abendmusik Sunday evening concert series, Mark Duley feels that “in our current circumstance, it is good to be reminded by Fishburn in his text that ‘in music, we find relief from sorrow and grief’. And we can salute the venerable building of St Nicholas’ Church where for 700 years music has resounded and prayer has been valid.”

Meanwhile, a scheduled online production of the community opera, Paper Boat, which Music for Galway commissioned to celebrate the 700th anniversary of St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, has been postponed.

Paper Boat is central to Music for Galway’s programme for Galway 2020 and before Covid-19 restrictions, there had been plans for a major live production of the site-specific composition in St Nicholas’ last June.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Chance to experience Fregoli’s Cross Street as the drama unfolds

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Enid trying to make sense of her life in 'Cross Street.

Fregoli Theatre Company will present a work-in-progress performance of its forthcoming play, Cross Street, on Saturday, November 28.

This virtual reading of their new comedy, written by the company’s co-founder Jarlath Tivnan, offers hints of horror while exploring mental health issues, according to its director Eimear Finan.

The story centres on Enid who’s searching for a new home and finds a place on Cross Street, one of Galway’s most happening spots.

However, she enters a space that’s is already populated by some serious creatures of habit. When Enid’s arrival threatens to disrupt well-worn routines, a house meeting is called to re-establish order. But on this stormy night, other events take over.

Cross Street explores how mental issues can grow and manifest when left to fester, says Eimear. Each of the housemates has an issue: these range from grief, guilt, alcoholism, eating disorders, neglect, self-harm and self-doubt. And each person isolates from anyone who might either interfere or help.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Resourceful Emma gets in step with Zoom during pandemic

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Connemara's heritage features strongly in Emma's sean-nós dance classes and in her Facebook videos.

If you fancy learning sean-nós dancing, now is your chance as renowned dancer Emma O’Sullivan is using technology to put her students through their paces – at home and abroad.

In normal times, the All-Ireland champion can be seen dancing on the junction of Mainguard Street and Cross Street in Galway City.

Emma, from Derryinver, Letterfrack, is a popular figure and videos of her performances have been shared by over 20 million viewers worldwide. Her skills as a sean-nós dance teacher mean she’s in constant demand for classes among children and adults as at home and abroad.

But like so many in the performing arts sector, Emma’s livelihood has been severely affected by the pandemic.

After her regular classes were cancelled in March when lockdown began, she decided to try something new. She complied a 30-minute introductory sean-nós dancing tutorial video, which she uploaded to YouTube.  The feedback was so good, she moved on to classes via Zoom – which her students have since nicknamed ‘zoom-nós’.

This hasn’t been without its challenges, she says.

“There’s so much more to consider. Lighting and audio were a bit difficult, because while Zoom is fine for just chatting, suddenly I needed to talk and play music too.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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