With Elise, Wynona and Therese immune from the elimination the remaining contestants were challenged with a 75-minute cook where they had to feature either chicken or egg. If their dish was one of the five that least impressed the judges they would head into round too, cooking again with the ingredient they didn’t choose in round one.
Trent told 10 play that, after the mystery box challenge earlier in the week, he was still shaking off the tough love the judges gave him after his Black Forest was dubbed a “hot mess”.
“Obviously we can all cook at home but, when you’re under the time pressure, trying to run to the pantry to get ingredients, running back to your bench, everyone’s running around you… there’s a lot going on,” he said.
Hoping to impress the judges with a Cantonese egg tart, Trent said he was too in his head and made “silly mistakes” that saw the custard leak out of the tart shells, causing many to stick to the tins.
Trent’s egg tarts relied on him being able to make puff pastry, and bake it perfectly within the 75 minutes, which was a huge risk, but Trent wasn’t in the MasterChef kitchen to play it safe.
“I wanted to show what I can do, probably to my detriment. I’ve tempered chocolate a billion times at home and it’s always fine,” he said referring to his struggles in the mystery box, “and I’ve done puff pastry heaps of times and it’s always been fine. But something happens in that room.
“I knew I would be in the next round, I didn’t even need to have my food tasted to realise that,” he added.
Heading into the second round of the elimination alongside Yoyo, Dan, Linda, and Amir, Trent said his goal was simple: hope his dish wasn’t the worst.
But the feedback from the mystery box, coupled with the tart he had just served up had left him rattled.
“You want to listen to all the feedback that the judges are giving you because they’re critiquing the food and determining your fate in the competition. You’ve got to listen and take all the feedback on board and you want to be gracious about it as well,” Trent said.
“At the same time, it’s hard to come back from that… I was in a weird headspace going into the elimination cook. I don’t think I really crawled out from that.”
Having lost his job at the start of 2020 due to COVID, Trent says that being in the kitchen more continued to be a solace, a place of catharsis and escape.
During his time in the competition, Trent opened up about how growing up as a queer Asian he felt isolated in school, and baking was the refuge he found where he could experiment and express his creativity.
After the mystery box challenge aired, rather than post about the “hot mess”, he penned a caption on Instagram about the gratitude he had for the experience to tell his story as a queer person of colour.
“We don’t get a lot of stories about that,” Trent said, adding, “I’m happy I got to be a part of that legacy.
“I’m really happy I got a chance to share my story and, hopefully it’ll help in some way, to have that representation.
“It was really awesome that happened and, even though everything else quickly devolved into chaos, I’m really glad that was shown,” he said, laughing.
Continuing to work on his food blog, Rice Guy, Trent isn’t giving up on his food dreams and hopes to continue to break into food media.
Follow Trent on Instagram here.
Watch the new season of MasterChef Australia, Sunday to Thursday at 7.30 on 10 or watch on demand on 10 play