Back

'Dying On The Inside': Maja Veit Eliminated Following Jock Zonfrillo's Tart Switch-Up

During a tense elimination challenge, three contestants failed to plate up a finished recreation of one of Jock Zonfrillo's dishes.

Following Monday night's team challenge, Therese, Conor, Kishwar, Eric, Sabina, and Maja were facing an elimination set by none other than Jock himself.

Revealing two near-identical tarts, a double chocolate gingerbread and salted caramel tart and an Australian curried yabby boab tart, Jock allowed the contestants to pick which complex creation they'd rather cook.

But once they had made their decisions, Jock switched the dishes - meaning anyone who picked the sweet tart was now making the savoury, and vice versa.

Jock zonfrillo sweet savoury tart challenge
Double the fun, Jock's tricky tart challenge pushed contestants out of their comfort zones.

With two and a half hours on the clock, Kishwar, Sabina, Eric and Maja now have to tackle the sweet tart, while Conor and Therese take on the savoury one. It's an exercise in pushing the contestants out of their comfort zones.

Unfortunately for Maja, untempered chocolate and a flavour-wise unbalanced dish, meant the end to her time in the MasterChef kitchen.

"To be honest, I was thinking the sweet tart sounded a lot easier," Maja told 10 play.

With the sweet option appearing to have fewer elements and hopefully fewer steps, Maja made the decision to initially pick the savoury tart to allow herself to work with the native ingredients that Jock had highlighted in the dish.

"I wanted to see if I could do that justice for Jock. Then we had the switch and, initially, I was quite happy. But when we got onto the tempering chocolate part I was dying on the inside."

So far in the season, tempering chocolate has loomed over the kitchen like an uneasy spectre. By the end of the challenge, Maja, Kishwar, and Sabina all couldn't unmould their chocolate shells, meaning the three had to find other ways of presenting Jock's finished dish.

"I was really disappointed when I couldn't unmold my tart. The actual chocolate wasn't tempered," Maja said. "I was trying to fly through the instructions as quickly as possible to get the elements done.

"I was going alright until the last half hour and things were really unravelling for me. So many things just weren't working out, I just started coming unstuck."

Maja admitted that, throughout the competition, there had been dishes she wasn't completely proud to be serving the judges. This challenge was no exception.

"I think it was hard to get into the rhythm of knowing how best to cook in a particular challenge and having the confidence to come up with a creative dish each time," she said.

"I probably didn't cook as well as what I would have liked, and I don't think I did a lot of dishes justice. I've done some questionable cooks."

Regretting cooking Mille-feuille for Poh Ling Yeow or choux buns for Emelia Jackson, Maja said she found herself picking dishes that she thought would be good in the moment, but not necessarily the kind of food she would enjoy cooking at home.

"I don't know what came over me. I was just like, I'm going to do this and I'm going to stick with it."

Admittedly, Maja's relationship with food had shifted in the lead-up to her MasterChef audition.

"I previously was cooking a lot and I've always been a very passionate cook but, in recent years, I lost it," she said. "The opportunity to come back on MasterChef I was like, you know what? I need to do this for myself and I'm going to give this a really good go."

While she hoped to have gone further in the competition, Maja said her time in the MasterChef kitchen had reinvigorated that spark for her love of cooking.

"I really want to show Australia that I can cook, I can do these things, so I'm just going to keep pushing and try to get better and see what happens, where I can take it.

"I feel like I didn't back myself enough," Maja continued, "I think I lacked the confidence to make it through. I know I can cook, I just think I let things get to me mentally. Part of the competition is a mental thing.

"It's been a pretty amazing experience regardless of what happened... I think it's pretty surreal to be part of the Top 24. It's been pretty crazy [but] it's been delightful as well."

Follow Maja on Instagram @majaveit

Watch the new season of MasterChef Australia, Sunday to Thursday at 7.30 on 10 or watch on demand on 10 play