'This Could Be My Life': Nat Thaipun Opens Up About Her Michelin-Star Immunity Win

For Nat, Monday night's challenge wasn't just about winning immunity.

This week, the MasterChef judges and contestants have traded the comfort of the kitchen we know and love for a magical journey to Hong Kong where they're eating, cooking and exploring. The judges also revealed that there would be no eliminations this week, so the chefs can kick back and soak up every opportunity to learn and grow.

And on Monday they got an incredible opportunity to not only win immunity from Sunday's elimination back home in the MasterChef kitchen, but to cook for Michelin star chef Vicky Cheng.

Harry, Mimi, and Nat were tasked with recreating one of Vicky's dishes entirely from memory, there would be no recipe supplied. While all three did an amazing job at plating up versions of the dish, Nat was an absolute standout, and her nearly identical version won her immunity, but it also sparked a huge realisation in her.

"Hong Kong made me realise that this could be my life," Nat told 10 Play, "not even could be my life, I'm going to make it my life."

During the challenge, Nat admitted to the judges and Vicky that the challenge had been "life-changing", and that she was in awe of Vicky's restaurant VEA.

"I never thought I'd want to be in a Michelin-star restaurant, and I don't know if that's the route I want to take," Nat explained to 10 Play, "but I've always looked up to how organised they are and how they work.

"What made me realise that I could cut my teeth in that industry is that Vicky and the judges gave me such good feedback," she continued.

"Sofia said I'm like the chef-iest person on the show, and that made me think, imagine if I actually had kitchen experience! I could just see myself growing so much... imagine if I go out into the real world and start getting experience. Imagine the type of chef I could become.

"If this is what I can do now through MasterChef, with limited time, limited ingredients and so many challenges, imagine if I actually went out and worked in restaurants and did my thing," Nat said.

"I just realised I could grow into something quite amazing, and that was a big thing for me. I had never really been proud of myself, and I was starting to feel a bit more confident in myself."

The challenge was also a testament to Nat's instincts and natural skill, relying on memory tricks to figure out cooking times, ratios and weights. "I was trying to be as logical as possible," she explained. "All of my friends could tell you that when I do something I get almost obsessive, I'm a perfectionist as well."

During the trip to Hong Kong, Nat brought along little metal puzzles she'd challenge herself with every morning. "I'm constantly doing brain exercises, I know that sounds wild but there are certain things I do that I never thought would be useful to cooking -- but it has been."

Nat was also the only one out of the three chefs to complete the dish in an order that made sense to her, again highlighting the instincts and knowledge she honed throughout the competition. And even with all that praise from the judges -- and a Michelin star guest chef -- Nat admitted to struggling with imposter syndrome.

"I can't really accept the fact that I'm good at what I do because I just love cooking so much, it's always just been a thing of feeding people, it's never been something I looked at as a potential career," Nat explained. "The more I've been looking back, watching these episodes, I'm kind of like... damn, it's exciting. It's really energising to see!

"I look at chefs like they're the type of people who have to do years and years of school and have loads of commercial experience to get where they are," Nat continued.

"So I feel like I don't deserve to be given that title yet just based on the amount of time I've spent in a kitchen commercially... but it's becoming more and more of a reality. Watching it back has made me feel like this is really what I want to do even more than before."

MasterChef Australia continues Sunday - Wednesday at 7.30 on 10 and 10 Play