YOUNG MasterChef hopeful Nicolette Stathopoulos is pushing ahead with her plans to become a pastry chef.
The 20-year-old university student, who deferred her studies to go on the reality cooking show, was eliminated tonight after tripping up on a pressure test themed around fire.
The Melbourne cook nearly gave up when disaster struck in the kitchen but a pep talk from chef George Calombaris inspired her to soldier on with her dish.
"When you go in an elimination challenge your head space is different to other days and what I struggled with was poor head space from the beginning," she told APN.
"I think it just got to me, having to think of a new dish every day in the kitchen.
"All of the judges were very supportive and I'm grateful for George coming over and picking me up."
The judges praised her for having focus, knowledge and determination well beyond her years.
Since her MasterChef exit Ms Stathopoulos has completed work experience in Sydney with Anna Polyviou and Reynold Poernomo.
She will run her first dessert degustation event in Melbourne in August and also plans to host private cake decorating parties for kids.
"Working with Anna and Reynold was a lot of fun and taught me the ins and outs of the kitchen, production and how everything works," she said.
"Anna's a great mentor of mine and she's still assisting me with getting through this time."
Like most of the contestants eliminated before her, she tips Noosa coffee roaster Matt Sinclair to win the MasterChef title.
"Matt is so focused and determined and really good at what he does," she said.
"Every cook for him is positive and it's great to see him doing so well.
"He's just a genuinely nice guy and I'd love to see him take it out."
MasterChef continues on Sunday at 7.30pm on Channel 10.
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