COOKING up a Massaman curry with no potatoes and dry meat turned out to be Andrew Henderson’s undoing on MasterChef last night.
The 37-year-old youth worker from South Australia narrowly lost the pressure test to Kumar Pereira, who has been nicknamed the Kumar-nator for his skill at avoiding elimination.
Henderson was the only contestant eliminated this week after the show’s special trip to Western Australia for Sunrise Dam Gold Mineand Margaret River-based challenges.
But it was nice to see two contestants enjoying themselves in an elimination challenge last night.
“It was an elimination and there was a serious outcome but we both had a lot of fun in this challenge,” said Henderson.
“It’s two guys who get to cook off against each other. It’s competitive but at the same time without any malice. Any time we talked to Gary (Mehigan) and Matt (Preston) it was out of fun. It was pretty relaxed, pretty causal - my kind of challenge. I got to cook in my time.”
But his fun was abruptly cut short in an emotional exit.
“When I found out I was pretty wrecked, heartbroken actually,” he said.
“I didn’t feel like I’d finished with MasterChef. I had a lot more to give and show. There was a lot of stuff I wanted to do. I was pretty sad and pretty down. It was almost like a breakup. That was my world at the time. Everything was controlled for you except when you cooked. It was almost like Stockholm Syndrome - these are the people controlling my life and we definitely formed an emotional bond.”
Henderson is now back in Port Lincoln continuing his work as a youth worker.
But he plans to make a temporary move to either Adelaide or Melbourne to get more experience before opening his own restaurant in Port Lincoln.
“I want some more fine dining experience,” he said.
“I want to get my feet in the industry.”
The team challenges were highlights for the Adelaide native.
“Team challenges, as hard as they are, they are a major highlight,” he said.
“If you want to work in the industry you’ve got to work with people.”
Henderson hopes 24-year-old Victorian Mat Beyer and 36-year-old mum Kate Bracks make it to the end of the competition.
“I’m hoping Matt because he’s such a great guy, but if I really have to put my money on someone it would be Kate,” he said.
“I think she’ll get in there. I would be very surprised if she’s not in the Top 2 and Top 4.”
Tonight, judges George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Moran take the 18 contestants through a step-by-step guide to the best summer pudding, a yummy curry and Moran’s blue swimmer crab.
Then two contestants join Frank Shek from Sydney’s China Doll for a private MasterClass.
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