What an incredible experience to be a part of Masterchef Australia 2017. Beautiful people and beautiful food. Definitely some lifelong friends (yes, even the doctor, Ray Silva!!).

I learned a huge amount about myself and a huge amount about cooking. I’d estimate that I read at least 50 cookbooks cover-to-cover while in the Masterchef house and was cooking sun up till sun down.

The greatest part of the experience was living with 23 other like-minded individuals, talking about nothing other than food, techniques, recipes and cuisines – throwing around ideas, breaking them down and building them back up again. It was a truly unique opportunity that I don’t think could ever be replicated. Once in a lifetime and I am thankful just to have been involved.

People often ask what the most difficult part of the experience was. I am not sure i really found anything too confronting, however I can certainly say that the stress and pressure of the environment is far greater than I expected. Looking back now, in a cooking context I think “where was my head at?” I certainly cooked some questionable dishes – things I would not make at home, and I think that comes down to the pressure. I was a little uncertain of what was expected of us and the type of food we should have been cooking. Are we expected to plate Michelin star dishes? Are we expected to follow the modern trends of tiny portions on large plates? As it turns out – no, that was not what was expected of us, however it is what I confusingly thought we were meant to do, and what I mistakenly tried to deliver.

However everything is a learning experience and I have now been fortunate to cook with the beautiful locally sourced, organic and free range produce available at Paddock + Farm in Bedford, Inglewood. This has allowed me the opportunity to cook the natural, simple food I enjoy.

The next stop is taking that passion internationally and finding some weird and wonderful dishes from around the globe – hidden from Perth to Perth!