Billie McKay, who also won the title in 2015, talked about the big change she saw in the competition when she came back this year.
Billie McKay, who has won MasterChef twice, talked about the big change she felt this season when she came back to the show with three new judges.
Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan, and George Calombaris ran the Ten cooking show when the 31-year-old first appeared on it in 2015. In 2020, Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong, and Andy Allen took their places.
Billie, who lives in the small town of Bowraville in regional NSW, told news.com.au that she had noticed a change in how scoring was viewed this season.
She said, “The new judges don’t care too much about how the food looks.”
“But when I first did it, I thought the other judges really liked a plate of food that looked good. So I had to change my mind and realize that I didn’t have to make it look good, I just had to make it taste good. I think that was a very important thing to learn.”
Billie beat out Victorian chef Sarah Todd, who came in ninth on the sixth season of MasterChef, in last night’s nail-biting grand finale. She is the first person to win two seasons of the show.
But getting to the winner’s podium (and the $250,000 prize money) wasn’t easy, and Billie said she thought she’d messed up when she served pannacotta in the first round that hadn’t fully set.
She told news.com.au, “I was sure I was going to lose when the judges told us how we did in round one. I had sevens all around, which was pretty average.”
“But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that negative thoughts hold you back in tough situations, so I quickly put that out of my mind.”
She also said, “It was very stressful because I knew that making up those points would take a lot of work.”
But Billie was able to win back the points and take the crown thanks to her amazing copy of the epic dish taffety tart by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal.
She said that getting another huge prize check was “mind-blowing” and told what she was going to do with the extra money.
“It will definitely help me open up my own little place. Billie said, “After watching MasterChef again, I’m sure that’s what I want to do, or at least try, so this will be a huge help.”
“I’d love to open a small restaurant. The town where I live is small and rural, but it’s where I grew up and where I live now, so I’d love to do something there.”