DELGANY RESIDENT MADE THE FINAL SIX
Charlie Daym made the final six of Masterchef before being shown the door and who has been living in Delgany for the past six years
DELGANY RESIDENT Charlie Day saw his Masterchef dream dashed last week when he was eliminated from the competition.
Charlie failed to impress judges Dylan McGrath and Nick Munier with his take on a fine dining fish and shellfish meal.
Charlie took a risk and presented a cold seafood platter serving the oyster without any sauce. Although Nick said the dish had some lovely flavours it left Dylan cold who said it wasn’t fine dining and failed to mention the cooking.
Originally from Dublin, Charlie has lived in Delgany for the past six years with his wife Sinead and two children. His professional background lies in the motor industry, having worked in the family business until it folded three years ago.
‘I came out of that with nothing,’ he says of the experience. ‘ So I needed to make a change.’ It was then he turned to his long standing interest in cooking deciding to hone his skills with a course at Ballymaloe Cookery School. The back-to-work scheme provided him with the means to start his own business from home, and so Charlie began baking breads, cakes and pastries which he sold at farmer’s markets. It was this new job - less time-consuming than his previous position - which allowed him the time to partake in MasterChef.
‘It’s the type of thing that I’d always wanted to give a go but never got the opportunity,’ he says of his decision to partake in the show.
‘So I decided to put in an application on the very last day [for applications]. I didn’t expect to hear anything back but got called for the first audition in late July.’
For this, Charlie was charged with preparing a cold dish for presentation, and he duly obliged with specially made rhubarb meal. Once again, he was surprised to be called for a second, more rigorous audition which involved preparing a hot dish under time constraints similar to the actual show. Yet again, he delivered the goods in the form of a scallop pancetta and pea puree. This pleased the palettes of the judges, who then formally invited him to partake in the show.
‘It felt amazing - I couldn’t believe it,’ he says. ‘ I was with my family at the time in Spain when I got the call. We were all together and it was really nice.’
Charlie progressed through the competition and was one of the final six contestants. Following his elimination Charlie said: ‘ I am proud of my achievement, but it doesn’t take away from the disappointment. I am gutted to be going home.’
He said the whole experience of Masterchef has been hugely positive. ‘I really enjoyed it - I feel I’ve picked up an awful lot and met some amazing people.’
Looking back, he is glad that he decided to take the leap into cookery and leave the motor industry behind, opining that money isn’t everything when it comes to having career satisfaction.
‘I felt that I needed to totally change what industry I was involved in,’ he says. ‘I wanted to get involved in food. Until then it had just been a hobby - something to help me relax.
‘It made sense for me to become self-employed again, and the most realistic way of doing that was to try to make stuff at home that I could sell. It fell into place that way.
‘I’m loving it [the culinary industry]. We have far less money than we used to have, but I get far more enjoyment out of what I do now and our family life is much, much better. Everything with my life I’m happier with now.’