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MasterChef New Zealand


Super dessert gets super nasty for MasterChef hopeful

A super tricky dessert from super chef Michael Meredith has claimed the latest MasterChef scalp.


Despite her best efforts and with the judges describing their choice for eviction as "an incredibly tough decision", Charlene was deemed to have failed the task and booted out of the top five finalists.
We caught up with Charlene about her elimination from MasterChef.

1) How have you found the whole MasterChef experience?  
The journey was amazing. I made lifelong friends who all ended up being my children in the house as I just couldn't help myself but turn into the house mother. I've learnt so much about food and more importantly I've discovered how obsessed I am with food and cooking.

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 thrilled to have made it but at the sametime my initial thought was - "Holy hell, daycare will make a fortune out of my children while I'm away on this journey."

3) How did you feel when you were told to leave the MasterChef kitchen?
Disappointed because I worked so hard to be where I was. I'd given up my time to be away from my husband and children and was going home empty handed.  I was also disappointed to leave what became my family behind but at the same time I was thrilled to be going home to my children and my amazing husband who did an amazing job being a solo parent while I was away.

4) How have your friends and family reacted?
They all love watching MasterChef and even more so now that they know someone on it!

5) What's the dish you created that you're most proud of?
The frozen/package foods challenge. I'm all about every day, ordinary cooking and this challenge proved it. One day I'd like to put a cook book out that's all about everyday ordinary cooking with the most basic ingredients.

6) What have you learned most from the experience?
If food is the music of love - then cook on!

7) Who will you miss seeing most? Why?
100% Ana.  She was my rock and my pillar of strength.  My shoulder to cry on.  We were mums away from our children and husband. Every time there was a milestone that we missed or when our kids were sick, it would have been a lot for our husbands to handle.  I'm so blessed that she was there and is still part of my life..

8) What's your biggest regret about not getting further in the competition than you did?
Nothing is worth being away from my family. The worst thing though was going home empty handed because I had one bad day!

9) What would you have changed about the challenge which led to your eviction?
Absolutely nothing. I'm a simple cook and I'm not about molecular gastronomy. The challenge I went home on was about the science of cooking and that's not what I'm about.  The challenge I went out on was confirmation of that . 

10) Fill in the gap: the kitchen utensil I look like the most is...
The hand whisk. It not only describes my personality - the mixer, the combiner, brings everything together  but also one of the many nick names I got in the house. Well, that and booty - need I say more? 

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

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