Justine Schofield has weighed in on her fellow MasterChef season one alum, Julie Goodwin's prospects ahead of her return to the iconic cooking show in 2022.
On MasterChef: Foodies vs. Favourites, Julie, 51, will join a bunch of former contestants, or 'Favourites,' in facing off against 12 new amateur 'Foodies'.
Despite winning in 2009 and going on to forge a successful culinary career, Julie earlier told Yahoo Lifestyle that she is "quite petrified" about heading back into the MasterChef kitchen.
As she pointed out, the standard and skill have continued to skyrocket in the 12 years since season one, and Justine agrees that feeling a bit nervy is understandable.
"I think Julie's 100 percent correct," Justine tells Yahoo Lifestyle. "When we went on [MasterChef] it was the first season and none of us - from the head of Channel 10 all the way down to the runner - knew what we were doing."
"We all just sort of plunged into it," the Everyday Gourmet host adds.
'Scary but amazing'
Before MasterChef became the 'phenomenon' it is today, complete with helium-filled floating desserts and sous-vide machines, Justine, Julie and their fellow contestants entered season one with basic kitchen essentials and know-how.
"We had the basics, we didn't have all these fancy gadgets which have since become part of our daily life, even just for the everyday cook.
"So yes, it is going to be different and for the old contestants that are coming back it will be challenging but I think at the end of the day, food is food, no matter how many fancy gadgets you have."
Nevertheless, Justine has high hopes for her friend 'Jules's' return.
"Jules will be fine because she knows how to cook and it really comes from the heart. She's done it a thousand times and I'm so proud of her actually for doing this. It's gonna be scary but amazing TV."
Sending Christmas cheer
Before Justine can settle in to watch Julie cook up a storm on TV, she's got a busy festive season to get through first.
While she's looking forward to reuniting with her family and her boyfriend, retired AFL star Brent Staker in Queensland, there's one very special Christmas tradition that Justine will sadly miss out on this year: her annual get-together with her 12 closest pals from high school.
"It's like a ritual we have a week before Christmas and this year I'll be in Queensland so I can't get back for that. It's a little bit devastating because it's the first one I won't be able to get to.
"It's hard but I guess I can be there in spirit with these cute little cards that I'll be doing."
The 'cute little cards' are Hallmark's new Video Greeting Cards, which allow the sender to record a personalised video message that the recipient can watch by simply scanning the QR code inside the card.
For Justine, that means filming sweet video messages for each of her girlfriends congratulating them on new family members or, by popular request, sharing secret recipes.
Once those are in the mail, it'll be time to start planning the Schofield's epic Christmas feast which Justine says will heavily feature seafood.
"We're a huge seafood family [and] it is the number one priority to get the best seafood," she explains.
"Being up in Queensland, it's all about those Moreton Bay bugs, fresh prawns from Mooloolaba, oysters... We might even put a little bit of crab in there too, which is my absolute favourite!"
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