Mary Carney
The first ever Irish Masterchef champion, Mary Carney, will be a guest judge at Savour Kilkenny Masterchef Final along with top chef Catherine Fulvio on Sunday 30th October. Image courtesy of RTE Press Office

NEWLY-CROWNED Masterchef Ireland champion, Mary Carney, will turn up the heat on her fellow gourmets when she makes one of her first public appearances since winning the competition at the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival.

The 28 year-old culinary whizz from Waterford will swap the pressure of labouring over a hot stove for a well-earned place as a guest judge alongside top chef, Catherine Fulvio, at the Savour Kilkenny Masterchef Final.

Mary and Catherine will put contestants through their paces in the mega cook-off which takes place in The Set Theatre on Sunday October 30th from 3pm to 5pm. Entries for the competition are being accepted up to October 19 at www.savourkilkenny.com.

The Kilkenny Masterchef finalists will cook against the clock in the grand final in front of a live audience under the watchful eye of the expert judges. The finalists will be assisted by popular Kilkenny chefs, Anne Neary and Edward Hayden.

The first ever Irish Masterchef champion, who is from Co Waterford, said she is really looking forward to guest judging at Savour Kilkenny. “It will be strange to be judging rather than cooking; a different sort of pressure. But I’m really looking forward to the experience.”

“I’ve had Nick Munier and Dylan McGrath sampling my cooking throughout the Masterchef competition for weeks so putting myself in their shoes and judging the work of others will be a very different experience. I know what it feels like to be at the other side of the table when the judges are sampling your work. Competitions like this are all about encouraging people to enjoy cooking great food and I hope to share my passion for food at Savour with the competition finalists.”

“I’m really looking forward to visiting Kilkenny. I’ve not had a chance to go home yet and hope that I’ll be able to enjoy several of the other Savour events. It’s an amazing and really exciting line-up and time permitting, I hope to really take in as much as I can during Savour 2011,” Mary added.

Mary announced this week she is going full time into the food business and on Monday launched her website www.marycarney.net

Meanwhile excitement is building for the Savour Kilkenny Festival which opens on October 27th and which is expected to provide a boost to the local economy with thousands of visitors expected.

This year boasts an expanded programme of events to get taste buds tingling. Some of the big attractions include top Irish chefs Catherine Fulvio and Donal Skehan who will be in action doing demos in The Set Theatre.

Foodies are advised to buy their Savour Festival Wristbands, which will give them access to all demos and events in The Set – as soon as possible at www.savourkilkenny,com or from the Savour Festival Office at The Maltings or Kilkenny Tourism. The wristbands are only €10 each, and cover ALL events for the entire weekend.

The open-air market on the Plaza with over 70 food producers from the region will be free to the public. Foodies will have a chance to taste and experience the best of local artisan food, with lots of free tastings in store.