After a brutal Pressure Test set by none other than Martin Benn, Nick Riewoldt plated up a near-perfect replica of his Metropolis dessert, earning him a final score of 38 out of 40 points and the title of Celebrity MasterChef 2021.
"It was hectic, it was unbelievable, it was amazing," Nick told 10 play following his win.
"If I was looking to sum it up it was almost a microcosm of the whole series in a sense. It had everything," Nick continued.
"It had the nerves and the anxiety of not knowing what to expect, then the reveal of what we needed to recreate, feeling out of our depth and not knowing where to start. And, I mean, four hours? I haven't had to concentrate for four hours since I was in school," he added, laughing.
"Within those four hours there were times I thought I was cruising, times I thought I was going to give up, times I wanted to throw things, times I was laughing. It was just such a roller coaster of a challenge."
When Martin revealed his Metropolis, Nick said just one word that echoed through his mind: "What?"
"I didn't get it! It doesn't look like food, right? It almost looks artificial... I didn't know what it was!
"That's probably a bit of a set-back when you're trying to recreate something, [Martin] lifts the lid and you're not even sure what it is, but when he said it was a 20 out of 10 in terms of difficulty, that was scary," Nick said.
The dish was made up of layers of coconut chantilly, anise praline crunch, chocolate cremeux, fermented cherry gel and a caramel chocolate mousse all shrouded in a cocoa butter white chocolate shell. Spanning multiple steps, Nick said if he followed his mum's advice and read the entire recipe before he began cooking, "I would have sat there for 45 minutes reading... it was that long and detailed I just wouldn't have got it done!"
The final three had four hours to attempt to recreate Martin's dish, but with so many technical elements that were more like science experiments than baking, Nick said there was no room for error.
"You could mess something up somewhere else along the line in the series, you could season your way out of it or cook your way out of it," he said, "but this - you've just got to start again, there's no way around it, otherwise you put up an inferior version."
When the judges revealed his score and Nick realised he won, he admitted having the other contestants there to cheer him on made the moment even more special. But knowing that he had won $100,000 for Maddie's Vision, a charity he and his family founded after his sister, Maddie, lost her five-year fight with Aplastic Anaemia, was the real prize.
"None of us went in there to forge a career in culinary art, but the charity aspect was huge for me. As one of the founders and chairman of Maddie's Vision, I know how significant those funds will be, and what a tangible impact those will be on people's lives, so that triggered a bit of emotion," Nick said.
"To be there, and to see how happy and excited the rest of the cast were for me was pretty thrilling," he added. "Everyone was so supportive of each other throughout the whole experience.
"One thing I didn't think I'd leave the show with was lifelong friendships, and I've got a good number of those that have been born out of going on the show."
For more information about Maddie's Vision click here.