Judge grills three fi­nal­ists

Gary Me­hi­gan serves up th­ese tasty in­sights for the grand fi­nal, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

CHAN­NEL 10 cook­ing se­ries Masterchef Aus­tralia has un­veiled the three con­tes­tants who com­pete in the Sun­day grand fi­nal.

They are Vic­to­ri­ans Samira El Khafir, a stay-at-home mum, 28; town plan­ner Emma Dean, 32; and North­ern Ter­ri­tory stock­man Lyn­ton Tapp, 25.

Judge Gary Me­hi­gan says all three con­tes­tants are good enough to win the se­ries and sums up their strengths and weak­nesses as they go into the fi­nal night of com­pe­ti­tion: Samira El Khafir: ‘‘The thing I love about Samira is that we see the Mid­dle East at the heart of all her food. She came to us with a rus­tic home style and set in her ways – it was im­pos­si­ble to push her other di­rec­tions. The real turn­ing point came when she be­gan ex­per­i­ment­ing with more so­phis­ti­cated foods that re­tained her Mid­dle Eastern soul. She put up a sea urchin dish that was beau­ti­fully pre­sented. It’s a long way from the plat­ters of whole­some but messy mezze she used to whip up.’’ Emma Dean: Her strength is that she’s a foodie through and through. She has a gar­den of gera­ni­ums, nas­tur­tiums and salad greens; she shops at the farm­ers mar­kets. She grew up on a hobby farm. She knows all about good coun­try food and good coun­try cook­ing. I con­sider her the per­son most likely to open a cafe that I’ll visit reg­u­larly. Her weak­ness lies in her abil­ity to cope un­der pres­sure. She bursts into tears.

She tries to stop, but she can’t.‘‘ Lyn­ton Tapp: ‘‘Lyn­ton is the con­tes­tant I thought most likely to leave early. He seemed an un­likely can­di­date in a field of cos­mopoli­tan con­tes­tants, peo­ple who eat eat Thai, Le­banese and Greek within the space of a cou­ple of days. Lyn­ton, I thought, would be all about meat and veg. Like so many men, he hangs his hat on be­ing a tech­ni­cian. His strengths are in his abil­ity to fo­cus and knuckle down . . . But when he gets emo­tional, he falls apart.

MasterChef Aus­tralia: Sun­day, 7.30pm, Ten, Ten SC.

Emma Dean, Lyn­ton Tapp and Samira El Khafir are rar­ing to go.

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