ANDY ALLEN CROWNED MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA CHAMPION 2012
The Maitland, NSW apprentice electrician Andy Allen has surprised more than a few and taken out the title of MasterChef Australian champion for 2012 beating Julia Taylor and Audra Morrice in the two and a half hour grand finale.
The epic finale involved three rounds of challenges, a sudden death of 100 entrées which knocked Audra out of the competition, followed by a main course and then a dessert course challenge, fought out between Julia and Andy.
Reacting to the win, former apprentice electrician Andy said: “I’m over the moon. I bet you no one would have picked me at the start to win – let alone two weeks ago. I’m so happy that I know my life will involve food.”
“I am overwhelmed. I never thought this would happen. It just goes to show what you can do if you put your mind to something you love. For me the most important thing is to keep learning and whatever I do next that’s my priority.”
“Now that I’ve realised how quickly I can take on skills and learn more, I just want to push myself to find out how far I can go. I’m a quick learner, any technique that was thrown at me I had to master. There was no time in the competition that I really knew what I was doing. I’m so happy with my progress.”
Our final three contestants had battled their way through many weeks of challenges – from Tasmania to Italy, cooking with Jamie Oliver to meeting the mighty Marco Pierre White. Tonight’s highly anticipated finale saw the contestant garnering the most points out of 100 declared the winner.
In the end, the final score saw Andy win with 76 points out of 100, Julia with 68 out of 100. Andy wins $100,000, a book deal and a chance to gain work experience in some of Australia’s top restaurants.
ROUND ONE: ENTRÉE COURSE
The final three learnt they must cook an entrée. But rather than just one entrée, their task was 100 entrées. The MasterChef kitchen turned into a fully functioning restaurant where the contestants cooked for MasterChef fans. This was sudden death, with the best two moving on to battle it out in the main and dessert rounds. Judges were looking for taste, consistency, portion size, and creativity.
Audra earned 22 out of 30 possible points (dish was egg nest with summer prawns)
Julia scored 25 out of 30 possible points (dish was rare roast beef with horse radish crème fraiche) Andy scored 23 out of 30 possible points (dish was seared tuna with squid ink and cauliflower purée)
ROUND TWO: MAIN COURSE
The final two, Julia and Andy tackled the next round – an invention test. They were challenged to create what they considered to be Australia’s National Dish. They were judged on taste, texture and the story, receiving a score out of 30.
Julia took a real risk smoking lamb for the first time ever, while Andy was feeling the pressure when the judges questioned whether a seafood basket was actually an Australian dish.
In judging, the judges thought Julia’s dish looked spectacular, but the lamb was far too undercooked. On Andy’s dish, the judges changed their initial opinion, declaring it absolutely Australian, “the seaside on steroids” said Gary.
Julia scored 21 out of a possible 30 points (dish was smoked lamb with lemon myrtle potato fondant) Andy scored 28 out of a possible 30 points (dish was a modern seafood basket)
This left Andy with 51 and Julia on 46 going into the 3rd round.
ROUND THREE: DESSERT
Last up was everyone’s favourite course – dessert. Legendary local chef Christine Manfield set the challenge with one of her signature sweets. This take on the classic Aussie ice cream, the Gaytime, had many pressure points, many elements, and would take a true MasterChef to create. The judges gave both contestants a score out of 30, which was added to the scores of the entrée and mains determining the winner.
Both Julia and Andy struggled with this mammoth challenge, having to remake elements more than once. Frustration and panic began to set in, and with the clock ticking Julia looked like she was in trouble. Moments to go, Andy’s caramel split, and neither one of the finalists was confident about plating up a complete dish.
In judging, Andy’s had the edge, the dish an almost perfect recreation of the original, although the judges commented on how close these two finalists really were.
￼￼Julia scored 22 out of a possible 30 points Andy scored 25 out of a possible 30 points
Final total at the end of round three was 76 to Andy, 68 to Julia.
There will of course be no respite from the MasterChef camp as Thursday night sees the star of the highly anticipated MasterChef Allstars which brings together previous winners and favourite contestants from the first three seasons of the show.
Source: Channel 10 Media Release