38yo Julie Goodwin has won the inaugural title of MasterChef Australia. Goodwin, from the NSW Central Coast, defeated 35yo artist Poh Ling Yeow across three challenges.
The contest has gripped a television audience attracting bumper ratings, furious media coverage and ‘watercooler status.’ The finale is expected to chart over 2.5m viewers.
The 2 hour finale was a tight race between the two women.
Watched on by the previous contestants, the first challenge was a Taste Test with a pot served up by Gary, made up of 20 ingredients.
Poh scored 11 points when she incorrectly guessed Port as an ingredient. In an identical test, Julie scored 12 points after also guessing Port. It was an indication of their competitiveness.
The second challenge was an Invention Test with a core ingredient of chicken, the same food that comprised their first ever Invention Test. Both had 90 minutes to create a dish for a total of 40 points. Guest judge Curtis Stone joined the resident judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston.
Poh’s Hainanese Chicken dish scored 33 points. Julie’s Roast Chicken dish scored 34 points.
At the end of the second round, Julie was two points ahead.
The third and final round involved a Pressure Test with an exquisite chocolate dish prepare by Matt Moran.
While Poh scored 31 points, Julie scored 36.
The final score was 75 for Poh and 82 for Julie.
“I feel happy” was all she could say as her family joined her for the triumph.
For winning the contest Julie wins $100,000 cash, a publishing deal and work experience opportunities in some of the country’s best restaurants.
Poh was also offered an opportunity to learn alongside Curtis Stone.
Applications for the second series are now open at masterchef.com.au