A simple mistake cost Mimi Baines the title of MasterChef Australia 2016.

The 26-year-old production manager made it as far as fifth place on this season of MasterChef Australia. She would have likely gone all the way to the finals had it not been for cheese. Ricotta and goat’s cheese to be exact. It was an error that happened during one of the most critical challenges of the competition.

At Wednesday’s cook-off, Mimi went up against Harry Foster and Elise Franciskovic. Their challenge was to create a dish using the same ingredients that earned them the apron to be part of MasterChef Australia 2016. Thus, Mimi had it all planned out for her fig ice cream with goat’s cheese and prosciutto dessert. However, she likely did not plan to pick up ricotta cheese.

Surprisingly, the previous challenges that Mimi took part in went without a hitch as desserts seem to be her forte. She managed to dazzle flavor goddess Nigella Lawson with her salted chocolate tart with beetroot sorbet. Moreover, her replication of the Mistique cake impressed the judges. Indeed, she was in the running to join Elena Dugan at the finals of Season 8.

It all went downhill for Mimi right after MasterChef Australia judge Matt Preston noted her error. Mimi tried to make the best of the ingredient she had at hand. Then again, the pressure and exhaustion of the challenge also got to her opponents. As it turns out, Harry and Elise had problems with their respective dishes, too.
In the end, it all came down to flavor, which Mimi’s dish lacked because of the ricotta cheese. However, Mimi remained gracious despite her loss, News.com.au wrote.

“I wasn’t really feeling too much because we’d just gone through so much. I was pretty happy with coming fifth. Getting that far is a massive achievement,” Mimi said.