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MasterChef 2023 winner announced in emotional finale

Brent Draper and Rhiannon Anderson went head to head during Sunday night's episode.

After battling it out in the kitchen for the past two months, the winner of MasterChef Australia’s fifteenth season has finally been announced.

32-year-old Brent Draper was crowned this year’s champion during Sunday night’s emotional final episode, beating 47-year-old Rhiannon Anderson and taking home a whopping $250,000.

Brent Draper was announced as the winner of MasterChef 2023. Photo: Channel 10
Brent Draper was announced as the winner of MasterChef 2023. Photo: Channel 10

The soon-to-be father-of-two first competed on season 13 but withdrew from the competition to prioritise his mental health, making him the first contestant to leave the reality show voluntarily.

“What a journey,” he said after it was announced he had won. “From the first season to now, MasterChef is such a big theme of my life. It changed my life, put me on a different pathway, made me learn new things about myself, and I’m just so proud.”

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What happened in the finale?

After welcoming their families into the MasterChef kitchen, Brent and Rhiannon were tasked with serving the judges “a dish that tells a story” for round one.

Brent decided to recreate the first dish he cooked this season, a tamarind and miso glazed pork chop with roasted cabbage and salsa, and received a score of 29 points. Meanwhile, Rhiannon was inspired by her late mum and made crispy pork belly with a citrus Asian salad, which received 25 points.

The second round saw TikTok famous French-Swiss pastry chef Amaury Guichon set a pressure test where the pair had to recreate his intricate Pocket Watch dessert.

Brent, who hadn’t competed in a pressure test all season, had some major flaws in his presentation but impressed the judges with how similar his dish tasted to Amaury’s. The judges scored him 34 points, bringing his total to 63 against Rhiannon’s 52.

After Brent was announced as the winner, the judges told Rhiannon she had won $40,000 as the season's runner-up, while Declan Cleary received $10,000 for finishing in third place.

MasterChef's Andy, Rhiannon, Jock, Brent and Melissa.
Sunday night’s finale was judge Jock Zonfrillo’s final episode. Photo: Channel 10

Jock's final episode

While the finale was a huge celebration for the winner, it was also tinged with sadness as it marked judge Jock Zonfrillo's final episode following his shock passing earlier this year.

The Scottish-born chef, 46, was found dead at 2am in Melbourne on May 1 after police received a call requesting a “welfare check”, and is survived by Lauren and his four children, Ava, Sophie, Alfie, and Isla.

The reality show paid tribute to Jock at the end of the episode with a montage of moments from his four seasons as a judge.

“Give it up for Jock Zonfrillo,” the text read as the screen faded to black.

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