It’s that time of year, again: delicious meals, scrumptious recipes, office potlucks and sweet treats. This year, though, your “delish dish” could win you a cooking lesson with a MasterChef finalist.
MasterChef Ireland finalist Terry Lyons will give five lucky winners a gourmet cooking lesson in January, where they will be inspired by Terry’s unique fusion of global flavors and the robust, natural ingredients of the Irish countryside. The winners, who could span across nations and continents, will join Terry in iMeet for a live, virtual cooking demonstration, preparing a delicious 30-minute meal in their own kitchens alongside Terry from his kitchen in Ireland.
To enter PGi’s Seasons Eatings contest, simply upload a photo of your best meal, dish, appetizer, dessert, or beverage to PGi’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PGiFans. Submissions end Dec. 4.
To win the coveted cooking lesson, encourage your friends, family, coworkers, and networks to “like” your photo on the Seasons Eatings photo album, which will go live Dec. 5 on PGi’s Facebook page. Voting ends Dec. 10.
Want to know more about this amazing chef? Here’s a quick Q&A interview I had with Terry and a yum-inspiring video of his audition for MasterChef Ireland.
Blakely: How long have you been cooking?
Terry: I’ve been cooking for the 20 years, since I left home to go to university. I had to learn quick!
Blakely: What the first meal you ever made?
Terry: It was probably a spaghetti Bolognese or lasagna, but it would’ve been made with jarred sauce.
Blakely: How did you end up on MasterChef?
Terry: I was filling out my voluntary redundancy form after working for a company for 14 years. While filling it out, an advertisement for MasterChef came on TV, so I applied. I didn’t think I would get called, and it just went from there.
Blakely: What was it like cooking under the pressure of the MasterChef kitchen?
Terry: I found cooking under pressure one of the easier things to deal with. I have worked in several roles and managed €20M budgets, where I had to deal with a lot of pressure on a daily basis. When the judges told us we only had 10 minutes left to finish a dish, most people would panic and try to do too much. But it is about understanding what you can do in that final 10 minutes. That carries through to work, also. Sometimes you have to accept you can’t do everything.
Blakely: Healthy cooking is important to you. Any advice for people looking for healthy tips during the food-laden holiday season?
Terry: I practice healthy eating, follow a high-protein diet and exercise regularly. Personally, I don’t like the word diet. I am fairly disciplined during the week, but at the weekend I have the odd glass of wine, cakes and maybe even a take-away. I also eat 70% chocolate every day (just a few squares). So my point is, don’t deny yourself the things you like. Just moderate your intake. Drink lots of water, get out for a walk and when you are plating up your lunch or dinner, put 20% less on your plate!
Terry: Obviously, my family inspires me and supports me. Cooking a great way to connect with family, and I love cooking with my 3-year-old daughter. Typically, she loves licking the chocolate off the spoon. Also, creating simple dishes that people can recreate inspires me. Ninety percent of people will not cook dishes that are in fancy cookbooks, so I prefer to cook simple dishes that most people can follow in a matter of minutes.
Blakely: You joined the PGi team a few months ago. How did a MasterChef finalist end up at PGi?
Terry: My wife is from Clonakilty, so our plan was always to move to Cork. A friend of mine mentioned that there was a role I might be interested in with PGi. So I applied for it, had a few interviews, liked what PGi and the people were about and, luckily, they liked me and offered me the role. It’s now three months in, and I definitely made the right decision. It’s a great company, and it has great products.