She was one of the most memorable contestants on this year’s season of MasterChef, consistently blowing the judges away with her unique dishes and becoming the first ‘fan’ to win an immunity pin, but it turns out Harry Tomlinson almost pulled out at the last minute.
Chatting with Yahoo Lifestyle following her shock elimination during Sunday night’s episode, the coffee roaster from Victoria admits that she didn’t initially want to be a part of season 14 when she learnt that she would be competing against 12 returning ‘favourites’.
“I didn't want to do it! I was way too scared,” she says with a laugh. “I spoke to the producers and I was like, ‘No, I don't want to do this season. I'm too scared. They're going to be too good. Put me on next year’.
“And then we had a big chat about it and I realised what a special experience it would be to be able to spend time with people that had gone through the whole thing before and really get some guidance and advice from them. And it was, it was totally invaluable.”
Harry went on to say that despite being such a big fan of the series, this season was the first time she had applied to be a contestant.
“I applied the night that applications closed because I just wanted to get out of my job, I needed a circuit breaker” she details.
“I went to auditions really blasé like, ‘Oh yeah, MasterChef’, and then they called me about a week later like, ‘Yeah we want you’, and I was like, ‘Oh no!’.”
‘My biggest downfall’
Despite her strong start in the competition, Harry was sent home after cooking for one of her culinary icons: Marco Pierre White.
Speaking about her elimination, she admits that she was “disappointed” and sad to leave but not entirely surprised.
“I think the decision that I made to cook a Marco Pierre White-esque dish for Marco Pierre White rather than cooking a Harry dish for Marco Pierre White was where I went wrong,” she acknowledges.
“I think it's really easy to get caught up in the idea of ‘What would the judges like me to cook?’ instead of thinking about what you actually want to cook for yourself. So I think that was my biggest downfall.”
Harry went on to say that her MasterChef experience was “totally different” to what she had expected because she had so much fun, and she walked away feeling really pleased with herself.
“I definitely felt like I'd won when I left,” she says. “It didn't feel like I'd been kicked off. It was like, I got a lot out of this and I got to show a lot of who I am and cook some smashing dishes, and I’m really proud of that.
“I don't think I have any regrets, it was just a crazy experience. Yes, I learned lots of stuff and then at the same time I just had fun.
‘Too many things’
Harry adds that she received some very important advice from the ‘favourites’ during the competition which ultimately helped her deal with her elimination.
“They all told me to just enjoy it and take on whatever I wanted from the experience and remember that each of us are all there together, yet our experiences are completely individual and whatever we take away from the MasterChef kitchen is up to us,” she recalls.
“That was a big thing for me. It meant that I could walk out with my head held high knowing that I'd done as much as I possibly could have, and knowing that the things that are coming to me in the future will be really awesome.”
As for what’s next, Harry jokes that she probably has “too many things” on the vision board.
“My biggest thing at the moment is getting back into the Melbourne food and hospitality world and helping out all of my friends because there are so many staff shortages at the moment,” she says.
“And then for myself, I’m just trying to keep engaged with my new audience on social media, which has been awesome. And then hopefully maybe get into a kitchen and just keep talking to people about food and get them as excited as I am.”
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