LAST night was Arena Dunn’s first elimination challenge on MasterChef, and it turned out to be her last day in the competition.
The 25-year-old personal trainer from Perth lost out to fellow elimination first timer Shannon Smyth in a chicken-themed pressure test.
“We were both in the same situation and one of us had to go,” said Dunn yesterday.
Smyth and Dunn were part of the red team, which lost Wednesday’s challenge featuring recipes by guest judge Nigella Lawson.
The team was forced to put two members up for elimination.
“We were not looking forward to it,” said Dunn.
“We had to do it back in week one with Tom and Kumar. I don’t think it’s a very nice way to do it. All of us would much rather all of us go into elimination together.
“No one was really to blame for everything. Everyone had their hand in every single dish. I had to just deal with it at the time and go into the elimination confident and cook my best.”
Her best wasn’t enough to win, but the ambitious cook has made the most of her MasterChef experience.
She and her boyfriend have built a kitchen in her family’s organic food store, where they plan to cook and teach.
“We’re just going to start producing our own things, like dips and muesli and cakes. Things people can come and grab on their way home from work,” she said.
“Setting up the kitchen is the first stage. Then we’re going to run a catering business out of that, and then we plan to run workshops and kids’ workshops over the school holidays.”
Dunn’s MasterChef highlights include the Cronulla Beach and Sunrise Dam Gold Mine challenges as well as meeting cheeky Nordic chef Thorsten Schmidt.
“He was such a funny guy,” she said.
“We got to spend some time with him off set and he invited all of us to his restaurant in Denmark.”
She said there is a level playing field between the remaining 16 contestants at the moment, but that Brisbane cook Danielle Dixon has the potential to win.
“The most consistent person is Danielle,” she said.
“She hasn’t really put up anything bad. It’s always been OK or really good.”
In tonight’s MasterClass, two lucky contestants are sent to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to have a private cooking class with seafood king Rick Stein.
Back in the MasterChef kitchen, Spanish expat and Apertif head chef Miguel Maestre cooks up a mouth-watering rice paella, and Gary Mehigan shows how to make a chocolate marquise with bitter almond ice cream.
MasterChef Australia airs Sundays to Fridays at 7.30pm on Ten.
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