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‘So Shocked’: MasterChef Champ Emelia Jackson Returns To The Kitchen

Just a few weeks after being crowned the champ of MasterChef: Back To Win, Emelia Jackson was back in the kitchen for a very different challenge.

This time, rather than running between the pantry and her bench and stressing about the giant clock hanging over her head, Emelia had set a Mystery Box challenge for the Junior MasterChefs.

Like many of the Juniors, Emelia told 10 play that her love of cooking started from a very, very young age.

“My mum had me in the kitchen all the time,” she said. “There are photos of me even as a baby in the Tupperware drawer when she was cooking so I think it was always ingrained in me.”

For her 14th birthday, Emelia got a set of knives. “I was definitely into it by then. I’d say like seven or eight I was really into cooking and I’m sure I was making some pretty horrific food. I had nothing on the Juniors.”

Walking back into the MasterChef Kitchen, Emelia said it was incredibly strange to be on the other side of the benches for once.

“I was like, oh this side of the whole thing is quite easy! Who knew the MasterChef Kitchen didn’t have to come with absolute stress and panic,” she said, laughing.

Though she didn’t know what to expect from the Junior MasterChefs, pretty soon the reigning champ was blown away by not just the imagination in the room, but the maturity and composure of the chefs.

“They exceeded my expectations so far it’s not even funny,” she said, “they were incredible. Not just in their cooking but how they handled themselves under pressure. I was blown away!

“I mean, I cried probably 30 times more than any of those kids have cried on the show,” she said, adding, “maybe adults feel stress more than kids but they just handled it all so well!”

A regular MasterChef challenge can be stressful at the best of times, but Emelia explained that a Mystery Box just adds a whole other layer to the mix.

MasterChef Champ Emelia Jackson Returns To The Kitchen

“It can be really challenging because you’re cornered into doing something, and they all responded so well. I was shocked at their skillsets.

“When I was that age I might have been making cookies and these guys are plating up beautiful desserts that you might see in some gorgeous little cafes or restaurants in any city across Australia. It was incredible.

“They were making gels and mousses and cakes and they were enrobing things in chocolate. I mean, I don’t know how they’ve learned that much when they’ve only been on this Earth for ten years!”

In a preview, one brave Junior has the chops to plate up one of Emelia’s specialties, choux pastry, to be tasted by the queen of sweets herself.

“I run my cake business so choux pastry is an integral part of that,” Emelia said. “I’ve been working on that for a good five or six years now and that episode where I presented that eclair to Gordon Ramsay and the judges I was a wreck of anxiety even then.

“The fact that one of them served it up to me was incredible.”

Choux can catch Emelia back in the kitchen when Junior MasterChef Australia continues Monday at 7.30 on 10 and 10 play.