She might have been sent home during Tuesday night’s intense pressure test, but Steph Woon definitely made her mark on this year's season of MasterChef.
The home baker from Melbourne made it all the way to the top 12 in the competition, consistently wowing the judges with her skillset and well-presented dishes, and earned the title of 'Cake Queen' for 2022.
Chatting with Yahoo Lifestyle following her elimination, Steph opens up about her experience on the show and how she prepared by expanding her culinary expertise.
“During Covid, I actually learnt a whole bunch of skills, just coincidentally, which is probably why I thought I was ready to apply for the show,” she details.
“So I actually learned how to fillet a fish after watching a whole bunch of YouTube videos, I learned how to do chicken, quail, all the proteins, I was rolling pasta, and I was also just baking a whole bunch of cakes.
“I was baking so much that I had to start cooking savoury because there were just too many sweets in the house,” she adds with a laugh. “So I had to learn some of the other things as well and I think that helped me prepare. It was a great learning experience.”
Steph went on to say that the most important advice she can offer someone hoping to be on MasterChef is to be confident within yourself.
“Do not doubt yourself, because you definitely have more skills than you know and as long as you back yourself in who you are and what you do, you are going to be fine,” she details.
“Just don't change. I think that was one thing I took away from it, to be myself and do what I love, and that’s more than enough.”
‘I was petrified’
Speaking about her personal experience on MasterChef, Steph says that one of the best parts of the show was meeting so many “incredible” people.
“I had plenty of moments outside of the kitchen where I just loved life and loved the connections I made,” she describes.
“We had some wild nights doing karaoke and wine nights, and I’m really close with so many fans and favourites. It was such a lovely experience.”
She adds that one of the hardest moments on the show was Andreas Papadakis’ pressure test, where the competitors were tasked with recreating his ‘Tipomisu’ without even seeing recipe.
“It was definitely a tough challenge, I was petrified,” she says.
“As soon as I knew what the general direction of the dish was, I just went with it and hoped and prayed that it kind of would resemble what it was supposed to resemble at the end.
“I make a lot of brownies at home so I was definitely on autopilot in some aspects, but at the same time, I think that was my undoing.”
‘My ultimate goal’
While her MasterChef experience may have ended earlier than she’d hoped, Steph says that she has plenty of goals she wants to achieve in the food industry post-show.
“I'm definitely keen to establish something of my own, trying to get my cakes out there, but I might do pop ups and collaborations along the way,” she says.
“It's pretty much just finding that path to my ultimate goal, which hasn't changed since the beginning and it’s to open the shop if I can. But obviously, there are a lot of hurdles to get there and I need to test the waters rather than jumping straight in, but I’m excited.”
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