Just when this year’s MasterChef contestants thought that there couldn’t be a dessert more complex than Adriano Zumbo’s to recreate in a pressure test, one of the show's most successful alumni, Reynold Poernomo, delivered an unforgettable dish during Tuesday night’s episode.
The bottom four contestants were tasked with reproducing the dessert king’s stunning dish, Noi, which ended up seeing Max Krapivsky being eliminated after he served up the least impression version.
Chatting with Yahoo Lifestyle shortly after his elimination, the osteopath from Victoria opened up about the episode and what it was like reliving it all on TV.
“I was rehashing some traumas watching it,” he laughs. “But it was really good to see because over the four hours you lose sense of so much of it, so to watch it back was really cool.
“And then that's the first time I've heard the feedback from the judges, so I completely understand where they're coming from. But geez it was close between me and Alvin [Quah].”
Max, who also competed in the season’s first pressure test against returning competitor Alvin, went on to say that his elimination from the competition so early on was “a complete shock”.
“So we had a little bit of a break between giving the judges our dishes and then the verdict, and Alvin pretty much just told the three of us that he's going home, we shouldn't be worried, he’s made plans on the weekend so we knew where he was going out for dinner and which friends he was going to catch up with,” he explains.
“And so when the verdict came out, I was pretty shell shocked and I think you can see that in my face. But at the end of the day, we're not the ones tasting the dish and Alvin just knocked those flavours out of the park.”
Max adds that there was a “really strange” moment after he learned that he was the one going home where he ended up “consoling” Alvin.
“He was just resolute that he was going home and then he did apologise. I was like, ‘Mate, you've got nothing to apologise for. Just go on and smash the rest of the competition’.”
‘A completely new experience’
After previously applying three times to be on MasterChef, coming close last year when he narrowly missed out on the Top 24, Max was “so excited” to finally be a part of the show for season 14.
And while he felt somewhat prepared this time around having already cooked once in the MasterChef kitchen, it was still a surprise going up against the favourites.
“It got very real very quickly,” he remarks.
“When I auditioned last season I got to audition alongside 35 other new contestants in the MasterChef kitchen who were all amateurs. And so I was coming in from that experience going, ‘I know the energy in the kitchen, I know how frantic it is’.
“And it still was, but the 12 faves were definitely a lot more calm, a lot more professional, a lot more polished. And so it was a completely new experience, and I think that was something that was a bit different to what I had in mind from the previous season.”
‘That’s the dream’
Despite his MasterChef experience ending earlier than he expected, Max says he has plenty of short term goals and long term aspirations he is keen to achieve.
“I want to make sure that I keep learning because I don't want MasterChef to be the end of my culinary learning experience,” he says.
“So I want to go and do some work experience in some kitchens, and then I'm also getting together with my very good friend from last season, Conor Curran, to do a little Instagram/YouTube series called ‘Pasta Boys’.”
“And then I guess in the long term, I do want to work towards gaining enough experience that I can open up my own little dining spot, hopefully like a dine-in bottle shop, getting Aussie produce and Aussie wine and beer. That’s the dream.”
Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.
Or if you have a story idea, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.