Kate's sweet MasterChef victory
MUM of three Kate Bracks has become Australia's third MasterChef.
The 36-year-old won the title after facing off against young South Australian cook Michael Weldon in last night's three-round grand finale.
She came back from behind in the second round with her sherry-glazed quail to lead Weldon by three points going into the final deciding round.
"It's not the best dish you've ever cooked but it's the best savoury dish I've seen you cook," said judge Matt Preston about the quail dish, which the judges could only fault for its slightly smokey garlic custard.
She continued her winning streak by successfully recreating Noma head chef René Redzepi's intricate carrot and passionfruit 'snowman' dessert.
Bracks won $100,000 and a cook book publishing deal for her efforts.
"I feel like I could just faint," she exclaimed on the show last night.
"I'm so so incredibly grateful. Words can't explain how grateful I am."
Viewers have watched the Orange resident's repertoire grow from country comfort food to Michelin quality dishes.
"I've learned so much about food and cooking and myself," she said.
"When I first came into the series, I knew I loved cooking I just didn't' know where I fit in or what my potential was. Now I know I can build my skills and my still need to be built, I'm still an amateur. I am lot more confident in what I can do and learn."
When asked about her highlights from her time on the reality cooking series, she said there were too many to mention.
"Every week there was one," she said.
"It started for me at the end of Top 50 when I got to go into that private MasterClass at Maggie Beer's pheasant farm. That was such a high. Going to Malaysia with Rachel was pretty special, then there was New York and getting into the Top 2 was pretty incredible."
Bracks, who has been nicknamed the cake queen, said her cook book will be themed around desserts.
"It's my first love when it comes to food," she said.
"Without even thinking too hard I can come up with a million things (for the cook book)."
She has certainly come a long way from the retro coffee cake she cooked earlier in the series.
"That's one of the things that appealed to me, watching how much previous contestants learned in such a short space of time," she said.
"I want to learn and grow and become a better cook. Having this kick start definitely helps."
Runner up Weldon got a helping hand from judge Gary Mehigan, who offered him a culinary scholarship at his restaurants and $10,000 towards accommodation.
"I'm very keen to keep cooking, learning more," said Weldon.
"As they say, practice makes perfect. I want to open my own restaurant one day, but I'm going to spend the next few years learning from the guys I met on the show."