There were a lot of people who thought you were barely on screen. Are you happy with your edit?
There are a couple of things here. My family and friends, we actually played a game of Where's Wally when we watched MasterChef and I was Wally! The other theory I have about it is maybe I potentially have an ex-boyfriend working in the editing room and his form of payback was hitting the delete button every time I was on screen – they're the only two things I can come up with!
I have no idea why I didn't have more air time, none of us have control over the editing. We all just cook our little hearts out and when you guys watch it for the first time, that's when we see it too. Or don't see it! Whatever the edit, at least I know I always acted with the best integrity – I was never worried that they had to cut stuff out that would make me look bad.
Some were even saying you look like Courtney who left quite early on.
I'll take it mate, Courtney's hot, she's gorgeous! I'm a fair bit older than her and I've had three kids so I'll take compliments wherever I can get them!
Some fans have been saying that Laura has been favoured by the judges, especially Jock, and that she's only been cooking pasta. Do you think that's the case?
No, not at all. When you look at Laura when she cooks her pasta, she does it so many different ways and the flavours are very different. We are there to highlight our region or our restaurant or speciality and she owns a pasta restaurant. Brendan cooks a lot of dumplings and Poh cooks a lot of cakes – it's a reflection of who we are. So I don't think there is any favouritism, I definitely think Laura is staying true to herself.
The food and hospitality industries have been hit hard by COVID-19. What are you up to now?
When I started MasterChef, we were in the process of getting another property. I have three accommodation properties in the Barossa Valley and now I’ve launched the business Frond & Farro so we’re taking direct bookings. Two of the properties are available as of October and our big property will be available next year.
Travel has pretty much ceased for the time being so in the meantime a lot of businesses have had to change gears. I got a local potter to design some homewares and I’m using the produce from our property that people who come and stay would usually get to eat like jams and muesli and packaging them for sale.
It’s kind of evolved from an accommodation business to a lifestyle brand. Your brain then starts thinking about all the opportunities from there. If you change your gears quickly and are flexible (especially with corona in the food and tourism industry) there is a bit of a silver lining in there, you can be creative.
As we get closer to the finale, who would you love to see win?
I would love to see another South Australian win. Not just because they’re from South Australia but the three that are left – Callum, Laura and Poh - are really diverse. They’re very different but they’re very creative and they’ve got the right skillset to take it all the way through.
I know it sounds a bit broad but Reynold – oh my god the skillset that that guy has! Being near him, it bends my mind what that guy can do. I was cooking with Hayden the other week doing crab and Reynold’s in front of me blowing sugar bubbles for goodness sake – it’s just next level! Thank god I wasn’t competing against him!