Tonight’s the night. After spending hours preparing and finalizing their dishes in the kitchen over recent weeks, tonight, Thursday, the five finalists of the Balmoral Hotel’s Master Chef Challenge will present their meals to the judges and guests at the Black’s Road hotel.

With doors opening at 6.30pm tonight some tickets still remain for what will surely be one of the memorable events of this year’s Féile an Phobail which is now underway throughout the city. So come along and enjoy the craic and taste the dishes our finalists will prepare for the judges and cast your votes.

Tickets for the final cost £15 and include complimentary good and drink and can be booked through or call Alicia at Aisling Events on 028 90 611916.

So who are the finalists and what will they be cooking up tonight? This is what the judges think of their efforts so far.

Name: Emma Sloan

Age: 33

Occupation: Controlled Schools' Support Council.

Where from: Belfast

Signature dish: Tuile baskets dipped in dark chocolate, filled with diplomats cream and raspberries, finished with bitter chocolate shavings and fresh mint.

Comment: This dish was well executed, except one component. The cream was a bit runny. However, the tuile basket was buttery, light and crispy. The raspberries were superb (home grown) also the mint. Overall the dish was class.

Name: Paul Maskey

Age: 50

Occupation: MP

Where from: Belfast

Signature dish: Balsamic Glazed Caprese Chicken

Comment – The presentation was a bit shabby, however, the dish was very well seasoned and really tasty. The chicken was nice and moist and roasted tomatoes were lovely. The sweet balanced well with balsamic vinegar. Sweet potato was a nice texture to add to the dish.

Name: Matt Garrett

Age: Unknown

Occupation: Local Councilor

Where from: Belfast

Signature dish: Surprise!!

Comment – Matt’s dish was well executed, the curry was fragrant, tasty. The rice was well cooked and was seasoned well, however, the naan bread was shop bought. I expect fresh homemade naan in the future.

Name: Nisha Tandon

Age: 59

Where from: India

Occupation: CEO of an arts organisation

Signature dish: Chicken dish cooked with lemon, coriander, tomatoes and home roasted spices

Comment – The presentation was superb and the flavours more superb. Lovely aromatic dish, the smells filled the room. The only complaint being the chicken breast was dry. I would have preferred chicken thigh meat.

Name: Paddy Tierney

Age: 30

Occupation: Journalist

Where from: Armagh

Signature dish: Beef Stifado

Comment – Tasty, great flavours and showed a great knowledge of cooking and bringing flavours together. However, it took a lot of time and I wonder could he be ready at the final. Also I think the cut of beef used in the stew was the wrong choice for stewing as it was a bit dry, not enough fat content.