Come Dine with Me: Ireland
About the Show
Hosts from all walks of life, from Dublin to Cork and Waterford to Galway, accept the culinary challenge, taking it in turns to throw a dinner party in an attempt to win a cash prize
Series 1 Summary
The competitive cooking show visits Ireland for a new series of wining and dining in which five strangers compete to win a cash prize by taking it in turns to throw a dinner party in their own personal style.
The first of five dinner parties from Dublin is given by domestic goddess Una Quill. Super-talkative Una loves a glass or two of Chardonnay and is confident that she can win over her new friends, but will she let them get a word in edgeways?
Una's guests include no-nonsense Emma Carr from Tallaght, who tells it like it is, but can she get along with self-confessed 'posh girl' Monica O'Mara? The gents in the group are mild-mannered civil servant Aiden Creavin and suave IT brand manager Martin Butler.
They're all after the 1000 Euro prize, but Una's confident her belly of pork main course will be a winner. As the wine flows, Monica opens up about her expensive divorce and Una reveals even more - there's a nude picture of her right by the dining table!
This group of Dubliners are an entertaining and diverse mix, but can Una soothe their first-night nerves or will their differences derail her plans to win the 1000 Euro prize?
On the second night in Dublin it's marketing and promotions consultant Monica O'Mara's turn to cook for her four fellow contestants: motor-mouth Una Quill, civil servant Aiden Creavin, down to earth Emma Carr and suave ladies' man Martin Butler.
Monica is pulling out all the stops to impress her guests with an ambitious Michelin star-style menu in the lavish surroundings of her mother's penthouse apartment in Blackrock.
She's even laid on a welcome committee to meet and greet the diners and transport them to her front door in a golf buggy! But the complex menu is too much of a challenge for our host and things quite literally come crashing to the ground.
Demanding diner Martin uses this as the perfect opportunity to play the knight in shining armour and attempts to rescue his damsel in distress. Can Monica salvage the night and win over her guests or will it all end in an expensive disaster?
It's midweek in Dublin and the turn of laid-back fitness fanatic Aiden Creavin. He's playing it super cool and doesn't raise so much as a bead of sweat while cooking his fruit-themed three-course meal.
For the second time in the week there's pork belly on the menu, and first host Una is eager to see whether Aiden's dish can top her own. Before it has even made it to the table, Aiden has a disastrous start with his first course. This doesn't go down well with the guests, especially Martin.
Keen to redeem himself, Aiden serves his pork belly and it's a taste sensation. At the table, outspoken Emma admits that Aiden's effort is the best, which doesn't go down too well with motor-mouth Una.
Despite losing out to Aiden, Una's still got plenty to say - about everything - driving the others mad with her constant chatter. The question remains as to whether Aiden's magnificent main course and laid-back manner will be enough to put him in the lead.
It's the penultimate night in Dublin and the turn of first-time dinner party host Emma Carr. Only accustomed to cooking for herself and her boyfriend, Emma doesn't even own a dining table and has to borrow one for the event.
As the week has progressed, Emma has grown more and more nervous about her evening and what the other guests will make of her flat in Tallaght. She's especially worried about what 'posh girl about town' Monica will think.
Emma's starter of scallops is a challenge as she has only cooked them once before, and her decision to prepare a homely beef bourguignon almost backfires after the complex dishes eaten on previous nights.
Emma's entertainment is a caricaturist, which reveals some of her guests' true colours. Unfortunately Martin doesn't see the funny side of his image.
Motor-mouth Una is rendered speechless as risque conversations reveal that, among other things, two of the group have been to nudist beaches. Can Emma control her nerves to pull off the evening of the week?
It's the last night in Dublin and finishing the week's culinary competition is Mr Suave himself, high-flyer Martin Butler. Self-proclaimed ladies' man Martin is used to the finer things in life, thanks to his years of wining and dining in the world's finest restaurants.
'Marty the Silver Fox', as he has been nicknamed, feels he has what it takes to claim the 1000 Euro prize. All week he has been ultra-critical, but could this backfire on him now?
Martin's minimum effort and maximum taste fish menu leads him into a false sense of security as he enjoys a coffee with friends and a spot of flower shopping instead of prepping his food at home.
When he eventually starts work, disasters start to happen and his cool, calm and collected exterior begins to crumble. Martin enlists his son to be his butler for the evening, but this doesn't go down well with the other guests.
The diners are served up scallops for the second consecutive night and sole for the main course. Martin pulls out all the stops with a live jazz singer to get a sing-a-long started to end the evening. But has he saved the best until last or tried too hard to impress?
This round of the competition takes place in Dublin where bubbly cosmetic surgery nurse Cora Murphy is up against psychology PhD graduate Darragh McCausland, funnyman Johnny Cox, health and fitness fanatic Eimhear O'Dalaigh and fireman Keith Murphy.
Cora is hoping to impress with her simple and homely menu, but Johnny quickly pulls her up on her less-than-homemade bread, Eimhear is suspicious of the calorie content of her creamy dishes, and she commits a cardinal sin while serving the wine.
No sooner has the starter been put on the table than Johnny brings out some silicone implants he found while snooping in Cora's bedroom. This starts a discussion about Cora's work, a topic that doesn't find favour with all the diners.
Funnyman Johnny hopes to keep the mood light by throwing in a barrage of one-liners, but as his humour descends to toilet level it all gets a bit much for intellectual Darragh. Can Cora please this mixed crowd and bag that 1000 Euro cash prize?
IT consultant and funnyman Johnny Cox hosts a Eurovision-themed night and hopes to impress his guests with an ambitious menu in which every dish is named after a Eurovision song. Fancy dress is compulsory and the guests all rise to the challenge, albeit with mixed results.
Johnny's guests dub him a Eurovision nerd as he explains how each dish, even the Brussels sprouts, are chosen to fit in with his theme, but they also discover that he is a super-high achiever in his work life and a seriously competitive contestant.
In this night of firsts, Cora attempts to enjoy Brussels sprouts, Darragh tries to play Eurovision charades, Eimhear reveals that she has as great a passion for talking as she has for calorie-counting and Keith just looks on, quietly waiting for his chance to host later in the week.
As friction emerges between Cora and Eimhear, can Johnny keep the peace and bring them together with his 'All Kinds of Everything' Eurovision night?
PhD graduate Darragh McCausland (dubbed 'The Book of Knowledge' by his guests) is hoping to put a spin on the classic dish of bacon and cabbage. His version uses braised pork cheek with steamed greens.
It's not to everyone's taste and even his butcher tries to discourage Darragh from using this unusual, cheap cut of meat, but he is determined to educate his guests about 'rustic' cooking. Darragh is not at all squeamish, even as he removes the saliva glands from the pig's cheeks, and reveals that he'd even eat a whole pig's head if it was put in front of him.
The cheek reminds his guests of Hannibal Lecter, and Cora, in particular, struggles with the fatty meat, which still has hairs on it when it's served. Despite that, there's a twinkle in Cora's eye and a lot of flirting in Darragh's direction. Could there be romance in the air?
There's no love lost between Cora and Eimhear, who clash about Eimhear's tendency to talk and talk and talk. Can Darragh manage the tricky ladies, especially as he runs out of wine? And will the live indie band he's kept hidden in the sitting room be enough to make up for his fatty, hairy main course?
Fitness fanatic and weight-loss consultant Eimhear O'Dalaigh is on a mission to convert her guests to low-fat cooking and has some very handy calorie-counting tips. Unfortunately she goes on and on about it, and tops it all off by doing her exercise routine while cooking.
Cora Murphy expects to be served a bowl of porridge, but low-fat food is not her only concern. Chatterbox Eimhear isn't her favourite person and, having let her know this on the previous night, Cora decides that the gloves are off and they'll stay off.
It doesn't take the cosmetic surgery nurse very long to inject some mischief into the night. She manages to insult Eimhear as soon as the starter is served and continues to do so in more ways than one, but she also has her eyes on the week's third host, PhD graduate Darragh McCausland.
However, after she reveals the truth about her dating past, Darragh is terrified of going out with her. Has she killed any chance of romance?
The slimline menu is lacking something - mainly calories - but Eimhear pulls out all the stops and shows off her dancing skills. Has she done enough to get her hands on the 1000 Euro prize?
It's the last day of the culinary cook-off in Dublin and fire-fighter Keith Murphy's turn to host. He is Mr Super-Confident and thinks he's got what it takes to bag the 1000 Euro prize, but his biggest task won't be the cooking.
He needs to keep the peace between the two ladies of the group, weight-loss consultant Eimhear O'Dalaigh and plastic surgery nurse Cora Murphy. Dishing up a three-course meal leaves cocky Keith unfazed, as he is used to hot situations and thinks he's got an even hotter menu.
A good move to impress the ladies is to present them with a fit cocktail waiter: in this case it's a fireman, who is also the face and body of a firemen calendar that Keith hands out as a present. Keith also mentions in passing that it's his cousin, although no one noticed a family resemblance.
In the food department, Keith panders to Cora's needs and forgets to cater for the other three guests. During the main course, Eimhear and Cora decide to speak their minds but are interrupted by Johnny's over-familiarity.
In a last attempt to gain points, Keith decides to burn up the dance floor along with an Elvis impersonator. Sadly, Cora was hoping for a firemen doing the Full Monty. But have Keith's moves and hosting skills impressed the others? Can he win the 1000 Euro prize? He certainly seems to think so.
The culinary competition takes place in the county of Cork, where country-living animal-lover David Roche thinks his menu of a West Cork seafood platter, chateaubriand and warm chocolate cake is a winning combination.
He'll need to pull out all the stops as glamorous jewellery designer Victoria Shorten, strict vegetarian Luisa Costello, pro-hunting country mum Helena Crowley Hayes and office clerk Jamie Knoblauch will be marking him for his efforts at the end of the night.
All the attention is on Luisa from the start as she freaks out over a spider she spots on the ceiling. As if this wasn't enough, David finds his dog Rudy has taken a liking to his seafood starter after finding it resting on the stairs.
Helena is made to reveal her pro-hunting history, while David attempts to win back some valuable points with the strange suggestion that his guests should venture out into the dark to search for his beloved horse, Gina.
But will they find this wild country dining experience a winner or will it be a case of one animal too many?
For the second night of the competition in Cork, country-loving Helena Crowley Hayes is the host.
Horse-mad Helena is the daughter of a farmer and proud of her rural roots. She's determined to give her guests a true taste of the country, including not one, but three desserts.
Helena is extremely nervous about cooking for strict vegetarian Luisa Costello. However, animal-loving Luisa might be more concerned about Helena's planned entertainment, which is a hunting-horn blowing contest.
It's the third night in Cork and an opportunity for confirmed vegetarian Luisa Costello to spread the word about vegetables to her four guests.
It's going to be an interesting evening as Luisa won't compromise by offering a menu for the carnivores. She won't be organising any entertainment and her aversion to dress codes is very evident. Will sparks fly?
During the course of the evening, everyone gamely tries to embrace Luisa's culinary world, but their responses are varied. Luisa has to resort to methods that she claims to despise in order to get a high score.
For the penultimate night in Cork, accounts clerk Jamie Knoblauch, the man with a checked shirt for every occasion, is the host.
It's a case of schnapps, schnitzel and strudel as Jamie turns to his German roots for inspiration at his dinner party. With a father who's a trained chef, Jamie is confident he can wow his guests, but what will picky vegetarian Luisa Costello make of her quorn schnitzel?
As the evening progresses, the conversation veers from tofu to tattoos and ends with a confused Helena Crowley Hayes believing that Jamie is descended from a long line of vampire hunters. To cap it all, Jamie produces a large glass boot full of German beer! This could get messy.
The final night in Cork provides an opportunity for businesswoman Vikki Shorten to see if she can top her competitors' scores and scoop the prize.
It's a difficult evening for everyone, as tension surfaces between Luisa and Helena, David and Helena have an aversion to the main course of lamb, and Jamie has to decide which of his many checked shirts to wear.
As the evening goes on, the conversation covers first impressions and the morality of meat. Things get a bit heated, but Vikki tries to cool things down with a surprise celebrity visit. Who will win the 1000-Euro prize and who won't be a happy bunny?
First to step up to the plate in Galway is Canadian Bruce Henry. He decides there's no better way to break the ice with his guests than a fancy-dress, trailer-trash-millionaires-themed evening. However, it's anyone's guess what the diners will make of it.
Good-time grandma Mary Murphy, enigmatic psychotherapist Peter O'Neill, Kiwi comedian Danny Dowling and phlebotomist Lisa Mulholland all get into the swing of things and dress down and dirty, with Lisa giving an especially novel interpretation of the dress code.
Danny immediately rubs the other guests up the wrong way with his foul-mouthed banter and impersonations; will he be too much for them?
Bruce has an original approach to fine dining and his cooking immediately polarises opinion. His main course of 'jacuzzi turkey' is a dish so dangerous that it has to be cooked outdoors.
With his food hitting a bum note, Bruce tries to entertain everyone with some hot-stepping traditional Irish dancing, but will it be enough to win him the cash prize?
Good-time granny Mary Murphy is hoping that her night of black-tie opulence will impress her guests and guarantee her the 1000 Euro prize.
Mary decides that nothing says class like French food, so she puts her distinctly Irish menu into an internet translator, with a less than successful outcome. Her incorrect translations leave her guests perplexed and fearful about what they are actually going to be eating.
But Mary's confident her main course of pot roast beef with a twist will win the day. Unfortunately, leaving it to slow cook for six hours doesn't have the effect she'd hoped for.
Mary does have a special surprise guest up her sleeve though - a tenor solo singer who risks bursting her guests' eardrums with a jaw-dropping private performance.
Meanwhile, psychotherapist Peter has taken to playing some odd 'games of observation' with his fellow guests. Will they get involved in the fun or just find it plain weird?
It's mysterious psychotherapist Peter O'Neill's turn to host. Peter has been the quiet man of the group so far, but he's already got the other guests talking about his odd behaviour.
A self-confessed foodie, Peter is more than confident of beating the others to the prize. He enters into 'relationships' with his ingredients and infuses his dishes with love.
In fact, Peter cares so much about his food that he's amassed a collection of chicken wish-bones that he hasn't been able to throw away over the years.
Peter's night is full of surprises as his guests peel away the layers of his enigmatic personality. To entertain them, he performs with his male voice choir - all 14 of them - which leaves the diners gobsmacked.
And when Danny and Bruce snoop around Peter's artwork, they are genuinely scared by a terrifying self-portrait.
Will Peter's confidence in his food win the day, or will his insistence on dinner-table rules annoy his guests? And what will they make of Peter's after-dinner entertainment - the communal pulling of ancient wish-bones?
Kiwi comedian Danny Dowling plans to woo his guests with a completely self-sufficient dinner party featuring ingredients he's reared, grown or obtained free from his neighbours. Even the former family pigs are being thrown into the mix.
Danny's confident about his dinner party, but has a lot to do to convince his guests, some of whom assume he isn't much of a chef. In fact, Bruce Henry is expecting takeaways served with lowbrow humour.
But the big question is: what will happen when man of mystery Peter O'Neill turns up? By the time dinner has started, Peter's grand arrival has already settled one thing: he's definitely 'different'.
That sets the tone for a bizarre dinner, with an unwelcome guest on Mary's plate, bizarre jokes, wig-swapping and some very peculiar presents from the host.
The food seems to go down a treat, but one thing could ruin it for Danny: his entertainment. He knows it could be 'the making or breaking' of his night and it involves custard pies - a lot of custard pies! Could that be 1000 Euros slipping away?
On the fifth and final day of the culinary competition in Galway, it's time for no-nonsense medical professional Lisa Mulholland to show what she can do in the kitchen - if she can control her nerves.
Despite trying her best to stay calm, Lisa's cooking technique disintegrates swiftly into a combination of minor accidents and mad rushing around.
A dodgy starter doesn't help Lisa to relax on the night, but a combination of forgiving guests and a great main course put her firmly back in the running.
For her final trick to win the coveted prize Lisa indulges in her love of dressing up to serve Auntie Aggie's apple crumble. But will Auntie Aggie's bad manners, acid tongue and frank poem about the week ruin her evening or boost her chances of winning the 1000 Euro prize?
The culinary competition arrives in County Limerick, and hosting the first night is radio presenter Nadia Sakni. She's going head-to-head with Elvis fan Cyril O'Neill, country lass Kathleen McKeown, yummy mummy Jane Higgins-Sheedy and car salesman Graham Culleton.
Naida hopes to impress by cooking a conservative menu to perfection. Will her guests agree that when it comes to dinner parties simplicity is the key, or will they balk at the surprise lurking beneath her starter?
Nadia's technique for preparing her margaritas terrifies beauty therapist Jane, and Cyril raises eyebrows around the table with his controversial toilet habits and even more controversial views on women in the kitchen.
Elvis uber-fan Cyril O'Neill's tactics involve, unsurprisingly, an all-out Elvis extravaganza including plenty of fried food. He also dresses up as the King and he has an Elvis picture to watch over proceedings and to bring him luck.
Unfortunately for Cyril his guests soon discover his big secret; he's written their names on his hand. They obviously didn't make a big impression.
After last night's sexist comments about female chefs, Nadia is on a mission to bring Cyril down, although he has the perfect opportunity to strike back.
Country-loving Kathleen McKeown wants her evening to be laid-back, but her preparation is anything but, after her dessert begins to self-destruct...
Kathleen's evening is a mixture of weirdness and blatant innuendo, which begins as soon as Jane and Graham look around her 'doll room'. Whether it's a fishing trip or a visit to Jane's salon, Cyril has an amusing take on both.
As the evening draws to a close Kathleen drops a bombshell that completely throws her diners: she hates her own food!
Beautician and mum-of-three Jane Higgins-Sheedy wants her night to add a touch of sophistication to what she thinks has been a bland week. But will the pressure of hosting fussy eaters and chauvinists be too much for Jane?
Things don't get off to a great start when no one seems to know what Jane's starter is. The mood is lightened when Cyril and Nadia bond in Jane's bedroom and discover a few saucy secrets in the closet.
The group are in fine fettle, with Cyril on particularly good form. And Jane has a surprise up her sleeve that gets everyone hot and steamy but is it enough to bag her the 1000 euro prize?
Ladies' man Graham Culleton hosts the final party in Limerick. Graham's an overconfident salesman, but in the kitchen he's a self-confessed novice, and as his guests arrive, he has a total meltdown.
When dinner is finally served, Cyril and Kathleen suspect foul play. Graham presents his guests with little gifts that he hopes will get him closer to the prize, but some unexpected entertainment causes two of the guests to clash. Can Graham heal the rift and get the evening back on track?
The competition arrives in Waterford, where first to host is project manager Ronnie Moore. Ronnie may be a serious career woman, but her lack of cooking expertise and a scant attention to detail mean that she is more of a comedian in the kitchen.
Ronnie's guests are an eclectic mix. First is lady of leisure Alexis O'Byrne, who tries hard not to betray herself as a snobbish queen of the suburbs. Her main rival is bridal-wear shop manager Rose Jones, another alpha female who prides herself on 'knowing how to throw a good party'.
Putting youth and beefcake into the mix is amateur cage-fighter Gary Wallace. He seems far too amiable to be a fighter and livens up the evening with laddish banter, much of it directed at the only other man in the group, supermarket food manager Danny Kidney.
Danny sees himself not only as a food expert and all-round winner but also as a very entertaining man who has elevated sarcasm into an art form. Pity none of the others think so.
However, at least Danny's wit is a distraction from Ronnie's food. Her game plan to land the 1000 euro prize is to swap in shop-bought products and hope she can deflect any awkward questions with charm, blarney and more than a few white lies.
It's the second dinner party in Waterford and supermarket produce manager Danny Kidney takes his turn to play host. He's hoping to wow his guests with home-cooked food and traditional Irish entertainment, featuring his version of Riverdance.
Although Danny considers himself a real foodie, turning his hand to filleting his own salmon and butchering his own pork, he does take plenty of short cuts when it comes to his dinner-party food preparation.
He tops off the culinary carnival with his final course, a sex bomb pudding, which leaves his guests wondering and worrying about exactly what's in it.
Danny's dinner party has its fair share of tension due to some early oversights, such as neglecting to buy guest Rose's favourite drink of cider and getting Ronnie to rectify his mistake.
He also treats his fellow diners to a display of traditional Irish dancing, doing a turn himself and hoping to impress them with his natural rhythm. Will his guests enjoy his 'home-cooked' delights or will picky housewife Alexis be super-critical again?
It's the third day of the culinary competition in Waterford and the turn of queen of the suburbs Alexis O'Byrne to host. She is determined to bring a bit of class and culture to the proceedings and has even chosen a dress code of red and white for her evening.
Being a housewife and mother, Alexis is picking all her tried and tested recipes in the hope of bagging the 1000 euro prize. With her refined menu of goat's cheese tarts, chicken fillet steaks and sparkling wine jelly, she's hoping her food with be a cut above the rest.
Her dinner party guests are all impressed and a little intimidated by their superior surroundings. Guests Ronnie and Rose have a snoop in the bedroom, uncovering a mug in one of the drawers that Alexis has kept hidden, bearing the words 'I am not a people person'.
The stiffness of the evening is broken by a little frivolity when Alexis brings out her main course, which leaves some of the diners wondering what the dish actually is.
Efforts by Alexis to warm up the evening with a party game of 'truth or lies' leave the gathering colder than her dessert mishap of frozen jellies, but will she have done enough to get top marks from her guests?
On the penultimate night in Waterford, it's the turn of the youngest of the group, Gary Wallace, to host. Can the 27-year-old cage-fighting enthusiast defy his doubters and pack a big enough punch to claim the cash prize?
His rustic menu of seafood crepes starter, beef Wellington and Nanny Betty's bread and butter pudding is one of the heartiest of the week, but having complained about small portions being served, Gary is intent on making sure everyone leaves feeling full up.
Picky Rose finds the 'man-size' portions too much, while posh housewife Alexis isn't too impressed with Gary's hosting skills. There's a near disaster when he runs out of wine, but quick-thinking Gary has a cunning plan to cover his tracks.
Karaoke is the theme for the evening entertainment and all the guests take part, although they aren't happy with his choice of songs. During the course of the dinner, friction between Rose and Danny increases, requiring Gary to turn peacemaker rather than cage fighter.
It's all to play for and Gary wants to claim the prize and prove the doubters wrong, but will his evening reach the high notes or come crashing down?
It's the final night in Waterford and hosting the last dinner party is ultra-competitive Rose Jones, who has had one focus all week... to win! Rose is determined to go out with a bang and hopes her 70s and 80s disco-themed evening will help bag the cash prize.
Rose's nemesis Danny does his best to wind her up from the outset, even bringing a tiara along as a gift, implying that she is the pampered princess of the group. Danny complains throughout all the courses until Rose eventually snaps, but is this wise, as he is still to score her evening?
Meanwhile, Alexis and Ronnie are far from impressed with the boogie wonderland theme and the fancy dress, but Gary is in his element.
When it comes to scoring the winner, it's tighter than John Travolta's jumpsuit in Saturday Night Fever, but can Rose triumph at the final hurdle and overtake Danny to win the 1000 euro prize?
Come Dine with Me: Ireland synopsis
Hosts from all walks of life, from Dublin to Cork and Waterford to Galway, accept the culinary challenge, taking it in turns to throw a dinner party in an attempt to win a cash prizeEpisode Guide >