Victorian Diana Chan has won MasterChef 2017.
The Malaysian-born accountant scored 90 points over Queenslander Ben Ungermann, 32, on 89 points.
Surrounded by family members, she survived the marathon cook-off to win the $250,000, a magazine column and the 2017 title.
Diana scored perfect 10s in round one which set her off on a winning night.
But the contest was not without drama, including with Ben cutting his finger and both contestants failing to deliver a sugar crusted liquor ball.
“This experience is something money cannot buy and I cherish every second of it. I’m so incredibly grateful for the never-ending support and love that I have received throughout the competition from my family and friends. I would like to give special thanks to the judges. Gary, George, Matt and Shannon have been incredible mentors and are so nurturing. I cannot thank them enough,” said Diana.
“I have been inundated with some amazing opportunities and it’s time for me to take some time out and filter through them to make sure I pick the one that matches my goals. My ultimate goal is to open my fresh, casual restaurant serving wholesome food with fusion flavours. I have also had an incredible opportunity to boost tourism in my home country, Malaysia. I would also love to work with kids and teach them about the provenance of food.”
George Calombaris said: “We are so proud of Diana and the way she has cooked this season. Her food has continually improved and her consistency, passion for flavours and commitment has been inspiring. She’s a seriously lovely person. We are thrilled with her victory and can’t wait to see what lies ahead.”
As runner-up Ben was awarded $40,000 while the series third placed Karlie Verkerk was awarded $10,000.
“I’m excited to continue my passion for food and I’ll keep working towards my Dutch restaurant, offering an updated take on traditional Dutch cuisine. Throughout the competition, I have also found a love for uniquely-flavoured ice cream and I hope to one day launch my own ice cream range,” said Ben.
“I wouldn’t change a moment of my MasterChef Australia experience and want to sincerely thank the judges for their advice, support and friendship.”
Season 9 has performed well in the demos for TEN, despite some headlines surrounding judge George Calombaris. The show has faced stiff competition, from The Voice, House Rules and Australian Ninja Warrior but already has an open call for 2018 contestants.