All eyes were on Wellington Point amateur chef Georgia Barnes who battled it out in the kitchen for the finale of MasterChef on Monday night.
Wellington Point’s Georgia Barnes was runner up in this season’s MasterChef.
The 27-year-old nutritionist, who has calledWellington Point home, was pipped at the post, losing 80-82 to long-time rival and friend23-year-old winner Billie McKay.
Monday night’s two-and-a-half-hour cooking extravaganza, criticised for being drawnout, featured three challenges – two of which were won by McKay.
For her winning efforts, Ballina restaurant managerMcKay scored a job working with celebrity chefHeston Blumenthal, took home $250,000, an Alpha Romeo anda monthly column withDeliciousmagazine.
Blumenthal was the mastermind behind the challenge, making thetwo finalists recreate a 55-stage grape-inspired dish using botrytis cinerea (fungus that affects plants).
Commentators claimed the final result closely resembled aspaceship.
Barnes cried a few times butMcKay remained calm except forone emotional run-in with a sugar ball.
Part of the challenge for the two was assemblinga 17-piece dessert in five hours.
Monday’s finale has been toutedas the most tense since the show startedin 2009.
McKay and Barnes only made it into the competition when judge George Calombaris threw them a lifeline in the second round of auditions.
Georgia Barnes at one of her favourite Wellington Point strawberry farms.
But Barnes managed to win over viewers with her personality,charmand modesty – despite boutsof tears.
She scraped through to MasterChef Grand Final on Sunday night after serving a main of cured trout followed by mango sorbet, vanilla yoghurt parfait and macadamia chilli praline, with chilli salt and coriander.
For her efforts, shetook home$20,000 and the possibility of a TV show. It is also expected she will be a guest at the inaugural Raby Bay food and wine festival due to kick off in October.
She decided to audition for Masterchef to sate her love of cooking and passion for food. She vied for top position beating seven contestants in the lead up to tonight’s final.
The finale capped off a season that surpassed expectations after the new seriesdebuted in May to an audience of 1.2 million viewers.
On Sunday, for thefirst instalment of the grand finale,1.389 million viewers switched on, putting the showthird in popularity behind Nine’s nightly news and hit reality seriesThe Voice.
Barnes, who has a Bachelor of Health Science specialising in Nutritional Medicine, has been an ambassador for Wellington Point claiming one of her favourite restaurants is Refuelled Cafe.
She also said she loves to graba picnic rug, get comfy and take in all the beauty of Moreton Bay from Wellington Point.
As runner-up Barnes was sweet in defeat, sending out messages of congratulations to McKay via Facebook and Twitter.
“An enormous congratulations to the beautiful @billie_mckay15. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to be in the finale with and I’m so proud of you,” she wrote.
“Seeing this through to the end with you has made it even more special and I’m in awe of your work. An amazing friend, a fierce, yet humble competitor and an incredibly talented woman who is about to move mountains in this industry! I know we’ll be friends for life!”
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