Elena Duggan has been declared as MasterChef Australia 2016 winner after she received a huge score at the last part of the competition.
Elena has pulled a “come-from-behind” victory over Matt Sinclair when she scored a total of 86 points to 84 points of Matt. The final two home cooks of MasterChef Australia 2016 battled it out over three high pressure rounds. It was in Heston Blumenthal’s Verjus in Egg dessert round where Matt fell apart and Elena stood out.
In the first round, the contestants had to pick one of 10 ingredients and were given an hour to make it the hero of their dish. Matt scored 26 out of 30 from judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan. Elena got 23 out of 30 for her first dish.
The 32-year-old New South Wales teacher bounced back in the second “no rule” round wherein the contestants had 75 minutes to cook any style using any ingredients from the pantry. Elena scored a perfect 30 out of 30 for her twice-cooked lamb. However, Matt also scored a perfect 30 for his crispy skin barramundi.
When the final round began, which is worth 40 points, Matt had 3 points lead. However, his lead disappeared when Elena presented a perfectly formed egg sitting atop a delicately formed nest. Elena’s Verjus in Egg dessert blew the judges away. “There isn’t much I can actually fault on it. The flavours were delicious,” Heston said.
Matt’s egg, on the other hand, split upon serving to the judges. The coffee roaster from Queensland scored 28 out of 40 points. Elena received three eights from the MasterChef judges and a nine from Heston and his executive chef Ashley Palmer-Watts. She got a total of 33 points, giving her the two-point lead victory.
The MasterChef Australia 2016 winner took home $250,000 cash and her own magazine food column in Delicious magazine. Matt received $40,000, while 3rd runner-up Harry Foster won $10,000.
Elena’s victory is the sweetest after she failed to be selected in last year’s season of MasterChef Australia, news.com.au noted.