MasterChef's Jess reveals secrets from behind-the-scenes of the show

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·5-min read

MasterChef star Jess Hodge was sent home on Sunday night following an apple-themed elimination challenge.

The challenge was split into two rounds with the first featuring two teams who had lost the previous challenge. The teams competed in a cooking relay, which saw each cook have 20 minutes to help get their dish ready for the judges.

MasterChef's Jess has shared how
MasterChef's Jess has shared how "painful" it was to watch her elimination on TV. Photo: Ten

Sadly, Jess' team didn't impress the judges with their duck dish and all four of them would face elimination, where they were tasked with cooking an apple dessert.

Jess chose to cook a German Apple Streusel cake with roasted apple ice cream, an apple and walnut crumb and different 'textures' of apple. While the judges enjoyed the cake and ice cream, they thought the dish was "confused" and didn't need any of the other extras. 

Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, Jess shared that it was "painful to watch" the episode last night.

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When asked about the judge's feedback, the architect said it can really hurt to hear their critiques.

"Yes, I think that the way they deliver their critique is interesting, you're just waiting for like the 'I love it', but often it's 'but...', but I did have trouble I think nailing exactly what they wanted, through the whole competition I was always a slightly off the mark and yesterday was very different."

She continued: "I was devastated, and watching it back on TV I think the same emotions kind of hit me all over again. I knew that it was a pretty good chance that it was going to be me, I mean obviously it was the one in four chance, but then when it was Scott and myself standing up there. I know that he's such a strong cook, and then they'd said my name and I think that just the exhaustion and the weight of the five weeks of being there at MasterChef really all hit me at the one time and I was speechless.

Jess' fellow contestants were shocked to see her go home. Photo: Ten
Jess' fellow contestants were shocked to see her go home. Photo: Ten

"I was pretty emotional but I've had a long time now to process, and I know that I really did achieve quite a lot in the competition and I'm really proud of where I got to."

She added that if she could do it all over again she would have kept her dish much simpler with just the cake and the ice cream, saying that simple "seems to be the message of the season, they really love simple dishes".

Thankfully, Jess served up a cold dish, because she also revealed that often, the judges will taste dishes when they're cold.

"The food team that MasterChef has are great at trying to maintain the dish as close as possible so what it was when it was finished, but of course there's a lot of dishes that need to be tasted so yeah, sometimes the food is cold, and it looks a bit different but, you know, I guess that's why it's good to cook a dessert because your ice cream just stays frozen. And it's better when it's cold.

Jess spilled some behind-the-scenes goss, including whether or not the food the judges is served is actually hot or not. Photo: Ten
Jess spilled some behind-the-scenes goss, including whether or not the food the judges is served is actually hot or not. Photo: Ten

"But the judges do get to taste our food straight after we've cooked, so they know what it's meant to taste like when it's hot, so they've got a pretty good idea of how the dishes will taste even if it isn't quite right when they're actually tasting it at the table."

Thankfully, the food that isn't eaten by the judges on set is donated after filming to ensure there is very little waste.

"There is a lot of extra food that we either make or, you know, we might use one fillet of a fish. But MasterChef is committed to a really sustainable waste process so they've got on-site composting and any of the food that is not used is donated to Second Bite so there's very very little waste that actually is created through the show."

"It's something that the show's really committed to, it's something that is really important to me as well because I hate the thought of creating excess waste just for the purpose of the TV show but if it is being managed sustainably, then I think that's a really great initiative."

Jess also revealed that the thing that surprised her the most on set was just how much footage is captured and then edited into episodes. "I think the people edited the show must be miracle workers, because it'd be so much content that they need to put into a cohesive story."

She added that the long 10 or 12-hour long days were incredibly exhausting, mostly because the contestants are standing around all day and then they record the interviews where they're talking to the cameras, which are seen cut into the episode, on a different day.

Since coming home from MasterChef, Jess quit her job and is committing to a career with food, but first she wants to give her wife Emily a little break after she took care of their three-year-old twins solo while Jess was cooking up a storm.

"I definitely owe a lot to her and need to give her some time to recover probably more than I need!" she said of Emily.

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