The West

WA reality star s private pain
Perth MasterChef favourite Amy Shields. Picture: Supplied

Amy Shields has battled and overcome a number of hurdles in her life but nothing prepared her for the rollercoaster of a week when she found out she had made the top 50 for this year's MasterChef Australia.

The Perth-based 37-year-old was on holiday in Singapore with husband Craig when they received the disappointing news that their first IVF treatment had failed.

Then after returning home and to work, Shields learnt she had been made redundant from her job at a healthcare company.

But out of the blue came the call she was being sent to Melbourne to be part of the Ten reality cooking competition's top 50.

"We were in Singapore on holiday and I had just found out the IVF embryo transfer hadn't taken and then I got back to work after our holiday and I was made redundant," Shields told AAA.

"It was just weird. IVF didn't work, I was made redundant. Two very disappointing things. But then I was invited to Melbourne to participate in the top 50 auditions. I thought 'Oh my God, what is happening in my life?'"

While Shields had worked in hospitality much of her life, it was getting into the kitchen that had always been a dream since helping cook for her mum's dinner parties while growing up.

"I have always been in the kitchen with my mother from a young age. I have always been interested in it," she said.

"Several years ago when I was still in South Africa, what really piqued my interest and encouraged me to explore it further was I had a horseriding accident that kept me on my back for a couple of weeks in bed.

"I just watched cooking shows and, I have never really thought about it before, that is really when I got interested in experimenting and being more creative in the kitchen. I was inspired by all those TV chefs."

Now Shields is the last remaining WA contestant to try to take out the title of this year's series.

This week was a particularly tough week for the show's "mother hen" when she came up against one of her culinary heroes, Marco Pierre White.

"If there is anyone you really want to impress it is Marco. And when it doesn't quite go your way, it is terrifying. That extra pressure doesn't leave you thinking particularly clearly all the time," she said.

Amy Shields in action on MasterChef Australia. Picture: Supplied

Aside from battling it out on MasterChef, Shields and her husband's next challenge is to become parents.

Shields was diagnosed with gynaecological cancer at 28. She fought hard to keep her fertility intact and is now in remission but the couple have had no luck conceiving naturally.

"That is the next hurdle that we have been faced with and it hasn't been happening," she said.

"We have been trying for several years since we were married in 2010. We have been undergoing some fertility treatments and just before coming on to MasterChef we underwent our first IVF cycle.

"I battle pretty hard so I have no doubt it will happen for us. I am pretty confident it will."

The West Australian

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