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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Justine Q& A

Justine - Fast facts

1. Current job: Recently made redundant.
2. Favourite chef: Alain Ducasse.
3. Favourite restaurant: Marque restaurant.
4. Favourite cuisine: French.
5. Favourite place to travel: France and Croatia.
6. Favourite dish to cook: Steak, frites with béarnaise sauce.
7. Favourite dessert to eat: Ricotta cheesecake only from Papa's patisserie in Haberfield!
8. Sweet or Savoury: Savoury.
9. Chilli or garlic: Garlic.
10. How do you like your eggs: Soft poached.

1. Favourite ingredient and why?

Butter. Versatile and makes all meats, fish and vegetables extra tasty.

2. Favourite utensil and why?
Pressure cooker. Speeds up process of cooking without impairing the flavours of slow cooked dishes.

3. What's your favourite meal of the day - breakfast, lunch or dinner?

4. What do you prefer, chicken, beef, seafood or tofu, and why?
Beef because it is juicy!

5. What dish would be the way to your heart?
Beautiful fresh seafood platter with mayonnaise and lemon.

6. What's your favourite tune to cook to?

7. Describe how you felt during the MasterChef audition?
The first couple of auditions I was excited and thought it was quite funny that I kept getting through to the next round. Once I got into the Top 50, reality kicked in and I realised that this could be a life-changing experience.

8. Tell us about your journey into the Top 20:
It was a long process!

9. What do you think you'll learn from being on MasterChef?
Cooking skills. Learning to work with others. How to run a kitchen.

10. Are you nervous about cooking for the judges and why?
Yes because I have only cooked for family and friends, so to be judged by talented Australian chefs is quite hard.

About Justine
1. Tell us about how you got into cooking and how old were you?
First memories of cooking was helping mum with a potato gratin when I was 6 or 7. Also, when I was around 8 or 9, when I was staying with my grandmother in France watching and helping her pluck pigeons for dinner.

2. What's the first meal you remember cooking and was it a success or a disaster?
Potato gratin. Success!

3. Who do you cook for the most?
My brothers. They have no idea about cooking! Lazy boys.

4. What do you love and what do hate about cooking food?
Love the reaction of people's faces when they taste my food for the first time. No one believes me when I say I'm a good cook! I hate cleaning up after a long dinner and when I have had a bit too much to drink and eat.

5. What three ingredients would you take with you to a desert island and what would you cook with them?
A couple of cows, butter and potatoes.

6. If you were having any three people, alive or dead, over for dinner, who would they be and what would you cook for them?
My grandmother, Yves Saint Laurent and Chris Lilley (because he's bloody funny).

7. What inspired you to go on MasterChef?
My friends made me aware of this TV show coming to Australia and thought I would be perfect for it.