Following a wild first week in the kitchen, Chris Tran became the first contestant to be eliminated from MasterChef: Fans & Favourites after failing to impress the judges with his crispy noodle stir fry, Mì Xào Giòn.
The marketing consultant from Melbourne had a very strong start to the competition, landing in the top four competing for immunity, but was sent home during Sunday night’s episode after he accidentally cooked his noodles in burnt oil.
Chatting with Yahoo Lifestyle following his elimination, Chris describes his MasterChef experience as “epic” despite leaving so early in the competition.
“I got eliminated from a mistake. It wasn't so much that the judges didn't like my food, it was literally that I screwed up,” he says.
“I had a really good run, plenty of ups and downs. No one wants to go first, but at least I had a moment, so I was pretty happy with that.”
Chris went on to say that being on the show was “completely different” to what he had expected when signing up, and there were quite a few moments during filming that left him surprised.
“There's a lot that happens behind the scenes, there are cameras at you and all that sort of stuff,” he details.
“But at the end of the day, it is what it is. It’s literally, ‘You have to cook within this timeframe’ and the judges have to eat all of that food. It's actually impressive to see all the food that the judges have to eat, so that was a shock.
“They’re like bottomless pits and they will keep eating, especially Jock. I don't know how he does it,” he adds with a laugh.
‘I was in shock’
Chris adds that it was “insane” seeing Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo eat 23 jaffles during Sunday night’s elimination episode.
“That's why I was in shock too, I was like, ‘Wait, how many jaffles do they have to eat? That’s a lot of bread’,” he reflects.
“I think Christina did pasta, and that’s pretty heavy on carbs too. So I don't know how they did it.”
While Chris explains that the contestants don’t get to taste each other’s dishes during the challenges, a privilege which is only reserved for the trio of judges, he says that there were plenty of opportunities when filming stopped.
“Behind the scenes when we're at the house practising and everything like that, absolutely we tried each other’s food,” he admits.
“That's the good thing about our group, we got close really quickly. Everyone was so happy to share each other’s food and taste test.”
‘So much to learn’
Following his appearance in the competition, Chris says he is now ready to further his career in the food industry and expand his culinary knowledge.
“I haven't been cooking for very long, so I've still got so much to learn,” he remarks.
“I think in the near future, I'd love to get some kitchen experience just to upskill. But long term, my ultimate dream is to keep doing more food photography and go out to eat, learn more about food and write. So perhaps getting into some food writing would be unreal.”
MasterChef airs 7:30pm Sunday to Thursday on Channel Ten and 10play.
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