With Keyma having won the Immunity Challenge, Daniel, Sarah, Billie and Julie had to step up to the plate and create one course each, showcasing either whisky or gin.
Julie nailed the brief, creating a Whisky Toffee Pudding with Whisky Chilli Ice Cream, and while the judges loved the flavours, her execution didn’t pull through when the cake came out of the oven burnt.
“I didn't think I'd get to the top five,” Julie told 10 play. “I knew I was heading into a situation where I'd be up against not only other winners from other seasons, but people who've worked in the industry for years; a bunch of talented go getters who have this passion for cooking and MasterChef.”
During the emotional moment when Andy revealed that Julie’s dish didn’t take her through to the next round, she opened up about how she felt leaving the competition.
“It was a big decision to come back, but I will never regret saying yes. We talk about the MasterChef family, and I was there in the first generation… it feels appropriate to be handing it over to a new generation, so I feel proud to be able to do that. I’m not disappointed whatsoever, it feels right,” she said.
In a competition where all the food is next-level, Julie struggled with feeling like her food was ‘MasterChef-worthy’ early on in the competition.
“When I entered the MasterChef kitchen, and especially with new judges who I wasn’t familiar with, of course there were going to be questions over whether what I was doing was going to measure up,” she told 10 play.
But she soon realised that the competition was more than just the food she put out; it was the passion, love and connection she had with the food and her own unique style that was important.
“They made it clear that they wanted us to cook the food that we love and that makes us happiest. I learned along the way that was okay to do that, but there's also an expectation that you're going to learn and grow as well.
"No matter how old you are, and how many cooks you have been around, you need to be willing to take advice on board and listen and push your boundaries and experiment.”
In the episode, Julie admitted that she didn’t come onto MasterChef a second time to simply win again, but she wanted to prove to herself that she did truly earn the MasterChef title in season 1.
“I can finally be at peace with at the idea that the first-time round wasn’t a mistake. I made it to the Top 5 this time, so it can’t have been a mistake and it has shaped my whole life... I couldn’t be more grateful to MasterChef, it’s a huge part of our life.”
From Season 1 to Season 14 of MasterChef Australia, there has been a lot of growth in not only the food created by the contestants, but the format of the show, and Julie shared the key differences she found between her two seasons.
“It was a different dynamic because there was a divide between those who had been there before, and those who hadn't. It created something quite beautiful, where some of the fans were really open to learning and keen to hear about what we do outside of the MasterChef kitchen, and what they might do when they finished on MasterChef. And there was a lot of learning and a lot of mentoring on both sides of the fence."
As a returning favourite, Julie said that coming back was a bit easier for her in comparison to the very first season when she didn’t know what to expect.
“The first time around, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I thought I was going on a little cooking competition, I had no idea it was going to become this television, sort of juggernaut at the time,” she said.
“This time around was different, partially because I'm older, I've got grandkids, I've got different priorities. I’m a bit more certain of what's important and who's important in my life," Julie continued.
"And I know what people love for me to cook and you kind of carry that, we see it in all people as they get older, you sort of get a bit more comfortable in your own skin.”
Julie created some spectacular dishes during her time on Fans & Faves, some which made both herself and the judges quite emotional.
“It's been a curse of mine since I was a little kid that you never have to wonder what I'm feeling. I don’t think it’s just me though, all of us have those emotional moments. And I think that really what that tells you is less about each of us as individuals and more about that process and how stressful it is and how much it means to us.”
But the question everyone wants to know, is would she come back on our screens?
“Of course I would. I feel like MasterChef is a very, very formative part of my adult life. And I feel connected to it. So yes, if I were ever asked back in whatever capacity, I would most definitely do that.”