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‘I Felt Overwhelmed’: Elise Pulbrook Narrowly Misses Out On MasterChef Australia’s Grand Finale

Sunday night’s Semi-Finals saw the top four compete in one of the toughest challenges yet, in the hopes of claiming one of the remaining two spots in the Grand Finale.

Justin Narayan, Kishwar Chowdhury and Elise Pulbrook had to create a three-course menu for the judges and 20 guests, meaning they had to pump out roughly 60 of their best plates.

It was a mammoth task that saw Elise really step up to the plate, showcasing unique ingredients that she uses at home.

“My menu was inspired by my love of seasonal and sustainable ingredients,” Elise told 10 play. “This challenge was my opportunity to curate courses with delicious ingredients that weren’t typically available in the MasterChef pantry, including pine mushrooms, a variety of Victorian grown lentil I would ordinarily purchase at my farmers’ market and sustainably farmed venison.”

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But it wasn’t all smooth sailing, with the cook admitting that she struggled when I came to making final decisions and sticking to the time constraint.

“Prior to the semi-final, I felt overwhelmed by the task of deciding on a menu that would be successful while also achievable within the time constraint. I felt daunted by the task and was very nervous!”

Despite facing a few hard moments during the cook, Elise came through with some solid plates of food.

“There were several challenging moments during that cook, but I feel like I went into automatic mode to triumph and get through it,” Elise said. “Of course, there are things I could have done differently… but then I wouldn’t have learned so much! Challenges like this bring opportunity to process information. Personal growth opportunities are never regrets.”

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Unfortunately, Elise narrowly missed out on making it through to the Grand Finale, but nevertheless she was happy with how much she accomplished during the competition.

“My friends, family and colleagues who know me as a good cook encouraged me to apply. I am a competitive person who isn’t resistant to pressure, so MasterChef seemed like my kind of game! I’m proud of how far I got in the competition. I’m a creature of comfort and this whole experience was certainly out of my comfort zone.”

During her time in the kitchen, she made so many wonderful memories and developed her knowledge and love for cooking.

“MasterChef will be an experience I look back on as a remarkable chapter of my life. I feel like my journey will continue to be invaluable and I’m so grateful for that. I officially have a platform where I can actively discuss our food system and I hope my awareness-raising effort encourages more people to think about where their food comes from.”

Now that her MasterChef journey has come to an end, she looks forward to focusing on and sharing her love of food with those around her.

“I’m reconnecting with what I love about food and cooking slowly without anyone screaming ‘you have 10 minutes left!’ Eating and cooking is about nourishment, pleasure and conviviality. My partner, Adam moved house all by himself while I was away, and we’ve just gotten chickens. I’m loving having so many fresh eggs. My veggie garden is next on our to do list! I’m also doing some research and information gathering so that I can hopefully host a long table lunch sometime in the future with food that is seasonal and direct from farmers with a name and a face.”

Watch MasterChef Australia's Grand Finale Week on Sunday 11th July to Wednesday 14th July at 7.30pm on 10 or watch on demand on 10 play