This year's runner up....
The winner of the 2012 MasterChef New Zealand competition has been revealed.
But as ever, with every first place winner, there has to be
someone who comes in second place.
This year's runner up is Ana Schwarz, a Waiheke mother who gained a strong following as the season progressed. She narrowly lost by just five points to Auckland's Chelsea Winter in the final and nearly came a cropper during the dessert challenge.
We caught up with Ana to see what she thought of the final, her competitor Chelsea and the eventual result.
Commiserations on getting ever so close - how does it feel?
Amazing! Very exciting. It's my life from this point. But I was deeply devastated. I really think I deserved to win.
It was incredibly close until the final challenge - what
was the pressure of the final like?
It was hard. From the top six the pressure got harder and harder. It was really, really hard! By that time I had been through so many gruelling challenges so another four in the final really upped the pressure.
It was the dessert challenge that beat you - what would
you change about it now?
It was just one of those things. I just can't explain it because I thought I had done a good job. In the end though, it just didn't pan out.
What went through your mind when you heard the final
Shock. You can see it on my face. I also felt really proud when the final result came through.
We saw how unhappy you were over the result of the
business class meal challenge when no one left. If Chelsea had left
then, do you think you could have beaten Tony or Brenton?
I think Brenton and I were both upset. I had to believe I could have beaten them both.
Which was your favourite challenge - and which was your
I loved being at Huka Lodge. The worst though was the venison challenge in the final. That just didn't work for me.
Looking back on the competition, you've been a solid
performer in the kitchen. What did you learn about yourself
during the experience?
How far I could get thanks to my sheer determination.
What's next for you?
I've got big plans. My website will be up and running. The website will be all about me and my brand and what I'd like to offer with personal cheffing and corporate cooking classes. This is my time to work from home and to use my purpose designed kitchen. I am into boutique concepts where I can have a relationship with people. I feel for the first time that I truly work like a chef. Food and design in particular are my passions, so I would like to incorporate both.
Did Chelsea believe Ana deserved to win? Read her thoughts on the MasterChef final .