The fiercely determined Dessert Queen responsible for so many of this season’s ‘melting moments’, Julia has proven there’s far more to her culinary repertoire than sweet treats. Yet despite giving a superb account of herself during finale, Julia admits to being unsure of her chances going into season four’s thrilling centrepiece.
“It’s difficult to be confident going into finale, as we’re all so different in our cooking styles,” she explains. “I thought Audra would be my biggest competition as she’s adept in savouries and desserts.”
During the first round of finale, Julia proved just how adept she personally is at cooking savoury dishes when the occasion calls. Beating Audra and Andy with her Seared Beef Fillet, she was unfortunately unable to sustain the advantage, after her lamb main turned into a dish she would rather forget.
“Ah, that lamb! It could haunt me forever – but I won’t let it. The pressure I felt for the finale was enormous, and that definitely showed in my lamb dish. I’m so happy that my first dish did well though; receiving two scores of nine for a savoury dish is something that I’ll always be proud of and I have the scorecard framed in my living room.”
Such a fantastic performer and competitor was Julia that she walked away from MasterChef 2012 with an apprenticeship with the dessert master himself, Adriano Zumbo. “He’s one of the best pastry chefs in the country and I can’t wait to go and work with him,” says Julia excitedly, who has plenty of dessert experts in her sights. “Also on my pastry wish-list are Darren Purchese, Philippa Sibley and Vincent Gadan. MasterChef has given us the most amazing opportunities to meet these chefs and I’m definitely going to follow them up!”
Looking back at her MasterChef experience, it was her performance in the Zumbo-mentored Careme-inspired Centrepiece Challenge that Julia particularly cherishes. “Seeing the centrepiece come together when assembled, I felt so proud of what we did together and being mentored by Adriano Zumbo during the challenge was fantastic – it lead to a job offer that I can’t wait to start.”
While this might seem like the perfect opportunity to enjoy a post-MasterChef breather, Julia’s all about making the most of every opportunity she can. “My priority at the moment is to get into as many kitchens as possible for a few months, and then to start working with Adriano. I’d love to have my own shop open in a year or two, but I’m just going to take in as much as I can first. I’d love to write a cookbook and maybe run some cake decorating/baking classes as well. Basically anything to do with food and I’ll be there!”