On Tuesday night, standing alongside Billie McKay in the MasterChef Australia Fans & Favourites Grand Finale Sarah Todd faced two massive rounds, narrowly missing the win by just two points.
Taking the lead in Round 1, Sarah once again showcased her ability to blend the Indian flavours she loves with her classic French training to create the kind of dish she's always dreamed of.
In Round 2, attempting a Pressure Test set by Heston Blumenthal, Sarah's recreation of his Taffety Tart was so close to the original that the judges were forced to split hairs in their scoring.
Seeing a legend like Heston walk through the MasterChef doors Sarah told 10 play, "I knew it was going to be something very intricate... I knew the judges would want to throw something difficult at us, and I was excited."
Adding that there's "no easy road to winning the title of MasterChef", Sarah felt like she was in a good headspace for the entire Grand Finale, and though it was a marathon of a challenge, she took the plunge.
"I was exhausted after because, not only was that a mammoth challenge to finish off, it was six months of filming," Sarah added.
Originally competing in the sixth season of MasterChef, Sarah returned to the competition having built herself a culinary empire featuring in multiple TV shows and opening two restaurants in India.
"In the beginning, I thought that there was possibly something to lose, but as I started going through the competition I realised there's only really something to gain," Sarah said.
"It's such an incredible opportunity to be back in MasterChef and, cooking throughout, I really realised that it helped to solidify my cooking style and what I love to do.
"We've got such an amazing future after this so I feel like, for me, this is where it begins. I feel like what we do now after the competition is really what matters."
While she was familiar with the competition, one aspect Sarah never expected was to find the next chapter in her story during the series. As she got further into the competition she began to more confidently blend the French techniques she was trained in with the Indian flavours she's been so passionate about for years.
"I had been playing around with what I thought was my cooking style and I didn't have this clear direction and solid style that I could finally land on," she explained. "I didn't expect that, throughout the competition, that's what I would gain."
Being surrounded by her fellow chefs, passionate foodies and top chefs from around the world, Sarah had nothing else to think about other than cooking.
"You can't really get that experience anywhere else and I feel really thankful that I have gone into that direction now... I get so many comments on my social media going 'Yes Sarah, cook French and Indian'," she added, laughing.
"We're all on this ride together, for sure, and I think seeing people's reactions and that everyone's coming along for the ride - a lot of people have watched my first season and seeing that growth as well - it's been amazing."
Having made it all the way to the Grand Finale, Sarah barely took a day off before getting right back to work, launching her own spice range inspired by many dishes she made during the season.
"I've got another TV show in India coming up later this year I'm filming where I might be on the other side slightly," she said, adding, "I can't say too much! But there are lots of different things coming up which I'm really excited about.
"You've got to hit the ground running after MasterChef, it's such a big platform, but nothing gets handed to you, it's all about going out and making your mark," Sarah added.
"A lot of the contestants this season are going to do really cool things, and already have started working on really cool projects straight-up after the show.
"I think you're going to see a lot of great things from this season."
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