As the contestants welcomed Hugh Allen, executive chef at Vue de monde, he revealed his dessert inspired by Australian natives.
His trio of desserts involved a handful of tricky components including the ever terrifying tempering chocolate, a task that has seen some of the competitions biggest contenders melt under the pressure.
“When I found out it was Hugh Allen I just went… oh my god,” Linda told 10 play, laughing. “I knew they’re not going to make it easy in finals week, I just had to try my best to push.
“Dessert isn’t my strength, I love eating it, I love trying to practice it but for a pressure test in finals… oh mate, I would have preferred a savoury dish,” she added.
Nearing the final days of the competition, the challenges were getting more difficult and pushing the contestants even further out of their comfort zones.
“You can definitely feel the pressure,” Linda admitted. “Throughout the competition, I was just telling myself, take every day as it comes, cook your best, take the feedback you get, learn from it and then reset and start again.
“To get to finals week I was just wowed by the idea, but at the same time the anxiety and the pressure was heightened from that point onwards.”
With three hours and 45 minutes to recreate Hugh's dishes, Linda started off strong, but after encountering a hurdle with her mousse she struggled to make up for lost time. Meeting multiple hurdles throughout the challenge, Linda pushed on and plated up almost every element.
“I didn’t even have time to breathe, to be honest,” Linda said. “You’re really focused and trying to do everything as quick and perfect as possible but when the wheels start to fall off… you just have to reset constantly.
“At one point I was like, Linda what on earth is going on? But I was also telling myself you’ve just got to push. Focus, try and overcome it. Unfortunately, little things started to unravel towards the end but I gave it my all,” she continued.
“I probably wasn’t able to breathe the entire pressure test, but I did the best I could.”
Refusing to give up, Linda pushed to the end and despite plating a mostly finished dish, she admitted that she knew her time in the MasterChef kitchen was at an end.
“At the end of the cook, I was exhausted but reflecting on what I couldn’t plate up, what was done. I was just like, I think it’s my time,” she explained.
“I also looked back at my whole experience in the competition and said to myself, you know what? If this sends me home tonight I did the best I could. I pushed myself, I didn’t give up and I leave with my head held high, and that was the best I could do.”
Throughout the whole competition, Linda put her heart and soul into every dish she plated up to the judges. This time would be no different.
“There were a lot of things I learned about myself in the competition and I think you always have to give yourself the best and, with my two kids, that’s what I want them to see. No matter what you do - whether you succeed or fail - if you give it your all, then that’s something you should be proud of.
“Throughout every single cook that I’ve done, cook your heart out and put as much love into it because I love food so much and you can actually taste when someone puts a lot of their love and passion into a dish versus someone who quickly threw something together.
“I love food so much, I just want people who try my food to feel that as well.”
Follow Linda on Instagram @eating_with_chenwah
Watch the new season of MasterChef Australia, Sunday to Thursday at 7.30 on 10 or watch on demand on 10 play