The Pressure Test veteran of MasterChef 2012, Andrew’s exit from the competition came off the back of a dish that would’ve sent lesser amateur chefs heading for the hills.
“How ridiculous is that dish – that’s not food, that’s an art installation,” he recalls of his instinctive reaction to seeing patissier Vincent Gadan’s Salted Praline Parfait.
Despite cooking in so many previous Elimination Challenges, Andrew insists that he simply saw this occasion as another chance to cook a memorable dish.
“I think having been in so many Pressure Tests made me not feel nervous, which is a whole lot better than cooking when you’re stressed out,” he offers. “I didn’t feel like that I was leaving that day; I treat Pressure Tests as another chance to cook something fabulous.”
Despite fearing that making the caramels shards might be his downfall – an area in which Andrew in fact excelled – it was the modelling chocolate that saw him come unstuck. Yet he resolutely forged ahead and managed to complete a dish that made him optimistic about his chances.
“I thought I saw safe,” he admits. “My dish looked great. But after the judges gave us the pros and cons of our dishes, I was not surprised to hear I was going home.”
Rubbing shoulders with a variety of culinary greats during his time on MasterChef, it was the epiphany that came from meeting Maggie Beer that Andrew singles out as his competition highlight: “Giving Maggie Beer a hug, and realising that the thing that makes people great at what they do is doing what they love.”
Continuing to follow his food dreams, Andrew now intends to get down to the business of creating, “ready-made meals for foodies when they don’t feel like cooking. The meals will be available at delis and supermarkets.”