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MasterChef New Zealand


French revolution claims latest MasterChef scalp

It was au revoir to the latest MasterChef NZ finalist - as the French revolution calimed the scalp of permanently chipper Cantabrian Chris Turner.


The Christchurch business development manager had been causing concern right from the start of the challenge. Tasked with making the bitter chocolate mousse, Blue Team member Chris first let the chocolate get too cold, making it difficult to mix together. Finally, Chris ran into trouble when he was pouring the mousse into glass dishes, and realised too late that he didnt have enough mixture to fill them all....

We caught up with Chris after being eliminated from MasterChef.

1) How have you found the whole MasterChef experience?  
It was great fun, challenging and a complete learning experience. Possibly the largest challenge for me was meeting and living with 15 new people. I am normally fairly introverted but I think this process has helped me come out of my shell somewhat.
It was very daunting meeting the judges as well, but again, I think it has taught me to take constructive criticism and learn from my mistakes.

2) How did it feel when the judges gave you that initial apron and then a chance to be part of the final 16?
I was over the moon to be given the initial apron. I was a little worried when I presented my audition dish to the judges as I struggled a little with being in a strange kitchen, but it was a huge buzz to get the positive answers I needed!
When I made it into the top 16, I was so proud and excited - that was the first goal in the journey for me.

3) How did you feel when you were told to leave the MasterChef kitchen?
I was really devastated, especially as it was down to a dessert. I do understand the reasons but I felt I had so much more to show and I really wanted to go further.

4) How have your friends and family reacted?
My friends and family are so excited to see me on the show - it's a little worrying really. I just hope I don't disappoint them. My family are all back in Guernsey so I am under strict instructions to record the show and post copies to them so they can see me (my nine-year-old brother is incredibly excited).

5) What's the dish you created that you're most proud of?
I would probably say I am most proud of my audition dish, the white chocolate lava cake . It took so much work to perfect and I was really pleased that it was good enough to get me into the competition.

6) What have you learned most from the experience?
To have fun when cooking. During the competition, I think I overthought most things which was a little to my detriment. I just need to be a little more confident in myself and to know I can do it. Also, to work cleanly - it makes things so much easier to clean as you go.

7) Who will you miss seeing most? Why?
It is a close one for me. I will miss Chantelle for her bubbly personality - she really helped me a lot in the house. I will also miss Andrea a lot - she is also keen on desserts and it was just lovely to have someone to chat to and think of new ideas. Even now, we text each other with recipes we see and want to try!

8) What's your biggest regret about not getting further in the competition than you did?
I guess the main thing I regret is just not being able to show a bit more of "me". I was just starting to come out of my shell both personally and in my cooking. I would really love another crack at the competition as I really think I can do so much better. I have learnt so much being back home and haven't stopped practicing in the kitchen. You never know, if the judges will have me back, I may apply for the next season.

9) What would you have changed about the challenge which led to your eviction?
I think I would change two things - firstly, work faster, I think I could have multi tasked more and gotten more done. The second thing I should have done is asked for help from my team. When I saw I was running behind I should have called out for help, instead of thinking I could do it myself (even though I did get there in the end)..

10) Fill in the gap: the kitchen utensil I look like the most is...
Haha! Probably a little like a pastry brush - because of my short spiky hair and because I am slimmer now from the weight loss!

11) What's next for you?
That's a tough question. I have so many ideas running through my head! I would love to start my own patisserie business. It is a huge dream of mine, to have a little shop that I can sell my sweet goods from, some traditional treats and some weird and wacky - Willy Wonkaesque - type treats. I am currently enrolling at Le Cordon Bleu in Wellington to complete the Diplome de Patisserie, which I think will give me a really good start in patisserie and from there, I will work my hardest to get my own business underway!.

Take a look at Chris's MasterChef New Zealand audition dish here.

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