Former primary school teacher Kate Bracks came from behind to steal victory from Adelaide cinema projectionist Michael Weldon in the MasterChef Australia grand final last night.
“I feel like I could just faint,” Bracks said when told she had won $100,000, a cookbook deal and training in some of Australia’s best restaurants.
Bracks, 36, from Orange in country NSW, spent more than six months away from husband Luke and their three young children to compete on the reality cooking show.
After trailing 25-year-old Weldon in the first challenge, a mystery box race, Bracks jumped to the lead in the best dish of your life invention test with her impressive use of quail.
With dessert queen Bracks on 51 points and Weldon on 48, Ten broke from MasterChef to air an episode of its new series The Renovators.
Many disgruntled viewers took to Twitter saying they were turning over, having dinner or making a cup of tea.
In a challenge to rival last year’s infamous snow egg, the three-hour pressure test dessert decider was a snowman set by Rene Redzepi, head chef of Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant, voted number one two years running in the S. Pellegrino world’s 50 best restaurants awards.
Redzepi’s dish, the hardest on Noma’s menu, featured a head made from passionfruit mousse, a body of carrot sorbet dipped in liquid nitrogen and yoghurt spray, a base of meringue and snow made of yoghurt granita.
Bracks won the pressure test and the competition, ending on 87 points to Weldon’s 82. She plans to release a dessert-themed cook book and to open a bed and breakfast.
Weldon won a three month culinary scholarship at judge and host Gary Mehigan’s Melbourne restaurants and $10,000.
The announcement of Adam Liaw as winner of season two of MasterChef became the most watched show on TV last year with just over four million viewers.
Last night’s show wasn’t expected to reach those dizzy heights, with viewer figures down slightly throughout the season due to increased competition from programs like Seven’s Australia’s Got Talent and Nine’s The Block.