Billie McKay triumphed over Georgia Barnes in the toughest challenge ever seen in the MasterChef kitchen to be crowned the 2015 winner.
In the last challenge of the night, Billie and Georgia were put to the test, having to recreate Heston Blumenthal’s famous grape inspired botrytis cinerea dish, consisting of 55 steps and 17 elements with a cooking time of just five hours.
It was a neck and neck battle to the finish, but Billie took out the prize, nailing every element in Heston’s dish and scoring 82 points to Georgia’s 80.
But the unassuming Billie was given more than just the normal MasterChef prize.
In addition to being crowned MasterChef for 2015 and winning the $250,000, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and a monthly column in premium food magazine Delicious, Billie was also offered a job at guest chef Heston’s famed UK restaurant, The Fat Duck.
Heston said he was captivated by Billie’s talent and composure under pressure.
“What an incredible series. It was such a tough competition. Offering Billie a job was totally spontaneous, it was a gut feeling on the day,” he said.
“It was the way she considered everything methodically through the final and the speed and the way she moved around the kitchen and her work. If she was panicking at all, her body language didn’t show it. A real attribute in the thick of service, I’m not sure if she wants to pursue a career in a professional kitchen, I just felt it would be a good idea for her to explore.”
Former restaurant manager Billie said the offer to work at The Fat Duck was beyond her wildest dreams.
“The whole Masterchef Australia experience has been the biggest learning curve of my life. I owe a lot of Gary, George and Matt, I can’t thank them enough,” she said.
“I’m completely blown away to have been offered a job with Heston. I would never have dreamt at the start of the competition that was even a vague possibility. From Ballina to Bray, who would have thought?”
Runner-up Georgia received $20,000 to put towards her food dream, and Jess, who was in the top three with the girls, received $10,000.
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