NEWS — 16 January 2014

By Shelley Marsden

It was just deserts for Galway cook Barry Johnston on Monday night as he became the firstto leave Channel 4 show The Taste.

The charity worker from Ballinasloe, who judges had been impressed with in his first week, was sent home by mentor Anthony Bourdain when his signature dish didn’t make the grade.

For his challenge dish Barry made a tiramisu with a twist, but he was slammed by judges for using shop-bought ingredients such as Lady Finger sponges.

The dessert, which he presented with lemon and basil jelly and strawberry and pepper crumb, was deemed dry and lacking in any flavour.

The Irishman confessed to the trio of judges Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain and Ludo Lefebve that he felt under pressure cooking for people that weren’t family or friends, but the judges admitted they were disappointed that his dish wasn’t on a par with the previous week’s creations –  cured and grilled mackarel with pickled beetroot, wasabi mayonnaise and samphire tempura.

Earlier in the show Michelin star winning Irish chef Richard Corrigan set the challenge of creating a prawn cocktail with a twist.  Barry’s dish was rejected by Bourdain for containing too much lemon, and he was criticised for keeping his work area in a mess.

Barry amassed his fair share of fans on his brief spell on the show, however, some of whom have taken to Twitter to voice their disappointment.

“Oh nooooo. Can’t believe Barry’s gone. He’s the only reason we’re watching ‘The Taste’. Booooooooo,” said one.

Barry himself joked on Twitter after a Daily Mail article:  @MailOnline “an ego-crazed, deeply pretentious Irish cook ” – I’m having that made into a t-shirt.

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