Just days prior, Ali had been fighting for immunity against her fellow teammates after they had won the team challenge. Serving the judges one of their favourite dishes of the air fryer challenge, Ali went into the second round confident, hoping to “push the boat out” and take a risk on her deep fried dish.
“Unfortunately [that] didn’t work out for me and, I’m such a perfectionist I think it really got me into a bad state,” Ali told 10 play following her elimination.
Though the judges were disappointed she had missed the mark, they reassured Ali that everyone has bad days in the kitchen, and she just needed to shrug hers off and come back with a cleared head.
“I had been running so well and just really feeling like I was starting to enjoy myself, I was cooking great dishes and had a number of successes,” Ali said. “And then to go and have that go a little bit pear-shaped on me really did affect me.
“It was all the emotions all in one, wasn’t it,” Ali said, laughing. “The highs and lows, the full MasterChef experience condensed into one week! It couldn’t be better described than that.”
Heading into Sunday’s all-in elimination, the chefs faced a green wall where one-by-one they’d have to identify one of the greens. Taking turns, if a chef misidentified an ingredient they’d cook in the second round, having to spotlight at least one of the greens from the wall in a dish of their choice.
“Unfortunately it’s just the luck of the draw,” Ali said, adding, “I’d rather have gone into the elimination based on my cooking… it did feel like if I had managed to save myself through that green wall I probably would have gotten back, but it all happened so quickly.
“I just think I wasn’t in a good place and… I allowed doubt to creep in. You can’t afford to do that in there at the wrong time, and that’s exactly what I did.”
Still rattled by the deep frying dish earlier in the week, Ali went into the second round with a dish in mind, but what she ended up plating up wasn’t the same dish she initially had in mind.
“I had an idea for a dish and I knew it would have worked, I just didn’t execute it the way I wanted to,” she said.
“No one has gone through this in their head more than I have, believe me. I don’t know why it didn’t come together on the day and, I guess that’s sometimes the nature of this competition. The pressure and indecision just got to me.
“I kind of felt like, in the race, I was out there near the front going really well and I tripped up, fell flat on my face and everyone ran over me.”
Unhappy with her final dish, Ali could only describe feeling like she had let negativity cloud her judgement, and her doubts made her second-guess her own skills.
Though her final dish didn’t work, throughout the competition Ali surprised the judges with her unique spins on challenges, and her ability to finesse classics, with a twist.
“I did want to bring a bit more of my Scottish twist to the table,” Ali told 10 play. “I loved bringing what might be considered ‘old fashioned’ dishes, taking the notion of them and bringing them into something that you might see in a more modern Australian kitchen.
“I started to get a lot more excited about creating these dishes and would have loved to showcase a bit more of that.”
Despite her time in the MasterChef kitchen coming to an end, Ali said that the whole experience had been “a life circuit breaker” for her.
“It put me in the position where I was lucky enough to have that time to really immerse myself in something I really love, which is food. It also clarified for me that I really do want to do something in the food industry.”
Though she has been lucky enough to find an opportunity for herself, Ali kept her cards close to her chest, promising a big reveal in the near future.
“I’ll keep cooking and keep my socials all updated and, hopefully there’ll be some exciting news to report for too long… Keep an eye on my social media and maybe in the next few months I’ll able to tell everyone about it.”
MasterChef Australia Fans & Favourites airs Sunday - Thursday at 7.30pm on 10 and 10 play on demand