Contestant Sara Oteri in a scene from episode 57 of MasterChef Australia.
Contestant Sara Oteri in a scene from episode 57 of MasterChef Australia.

Pressure test elimination doesn't squash Sara's final 5 goal

MASTERCHEF contestant Sara Oteri's first pressure test has also proved to be her last.

A complicated challenge created by two-hatted guest chef Grant King set the scene for her departure from the series on Monday night.

"I was definitely nervous going in to it and I was really aware that I'd never done a pressure test before and of all the times to do it the last time probably wasn't the best," she told APN.

"It was really, really difficult - a recipe [for liquid butternut gnocchi with mushroom consomme and roast mushroom truffle cheese toast] like nothing I'd ever done before... a science experiment on a plate."

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All of the contestants made mistakes and appeared to be out of their comfort zone at various times throughout the technical test but Sara's failure to produce the requisite brioche toast and some lack lustre gnocchi were enough to knock her out of the competition.

"I just wanted to be there as long as possible to learn as much as possible and if that meant winning then fabulous but to get this far was everything that I'd ever asked for - my New Year's resolution was to get into final five and I've done that so I'm happy."

From left: guest chef Grant King, judge George Calombaris and contestants Reynold Poernomo and Sara Oteri in a scene from ep 57 of MasterChef Australia. Contributed CH10
From left: guest chef Grant King, judge George Calombaris and contestants Reynold Poernomo and Sara Oteri in a scene from ep 57 of MasterChef Australia. Contributed CH10

"I'd do this all again in a heartbeat... it's shown me that I was more capable - physically, emotionally and creatively - than I thought I was and it's been a refreshing experience because you're forced to give and give and give."

Just four contestants remain in the running; Reynold Poernomo, Jessica Arnott, Georgia Barnes and Billie McKay, and in what is proving to be a popular opinion among those eliminated Sara tipped a Reynold/Billie final.

"It's anyone's game but I would love to see Reynold win."

Since leaving the show the 26-year-old has been enjoying working part-time for head chef Jesse McTavish at The Kettle Black in South Melbourne.

Sara Oteri.
Sara Oteri. Martin Philbey

"I said to myself that when this [MasterChef] was all over I would call him because it would be a dream to work for him and here I am," she said.

"He's incredible. His philosophy on food and the establishments that he's been able to create; everything from the aesthetics to the lighting, the plate choices, the ingredients - I'm learning a lot in lots of respects.

"Every day that I'm in the kitchen I'm introduced to new ingredients and new ways of cooking, I write a recipe for something every day and it's just good to keep at it and be dedicated and to always make sure that I'm contributing towards something positive."

Sara said these experiences had taken her a few steps closer to her ultimate dream of having her own cafe or restaurant.

MasterChef Australia airs Sundays through Thursdays at 8.30pm on Channel 10.


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