Jamie Fleming Has Already Made His MasterChef Dream Come True
Jamie Fleming may not have made it into the MasterChef 2014 semi-final, but he's already taken the steps to turning his food dream into a reality. The 26-year-old bartender from Sydney was eliminated from the show on Thursday night after a pressure test set by Sepia's Martin Benn; Jamie, Brent Owens and Emelia Clarke had to recreate the restaurant's signature chocolate forest floor dessert, a dish that had 14 elements and 40 complicated steps. Brent had a huge advantage going into the challenge, having received the recipe the night before and a chance to practise the dish at a separate hotel, while Emelia and Jamie went in blind. Emelia, the 2014 series' dessert queen, seemed to cruise through the challenge more easily than her male counterparts, and in the end it was Jamie's split lavender cream and unsuccessful tempered chocolate that sent him home.
We caught up with Jamie this morning to talk about the crazy difficult challenges on MasterChef this year, being away from his young family, his reaction to being described as "cocky," and his move into the food industry.
POPSUGAR Australia: How are you? Busy morning?
Jamie Fleming: Yeah, busy morning. Still trying to wake up — I didn't get home from service until about 1 o'clock in the morning. The life of a chef though, it's all good.
PS: But that's what you wanted, right?
Jamie: That's it.
PS: Last night's pressure dish was the first time I've eaten a dish that's been on MasterChef! How did that pressure test compare to other ones you've done?
Jamie: Oh, it was by far the hardest. Just the accuracy you needed, and all the different techniques, and understanding inherently how things work. The croquembouche was very much: 'How well do you know how to cook the basics?' Other ones were: 'How well can you follow the recipe?' This one was both. You needed to be exacting, but you also needed to know what you were doing on a base level.
PS: What were the most frustrating points?
Jamie: Definitely trying to drop the temperature of the chocolate — it just would not drop! I was trying everything, and I probably wasted 20 minutes, and that could have been the difference between paying more attention to the lavender cream, and getting the finger lime on the plate, which were essentially the two things that sent me home. I think everything else was pretty good.
PS: What's it like watching the episode back, if you managed to watch it, and seeing how Brent and Emelia went with the same challenge?
Jamie: I'll be honest, I haven't seen it. I got home and I watched the last little bit just to show how it all ended, and it was too late so I went straight to bed.
PS: What was it like adjusting back to real life?
Jamie: It was difficult. It was difficult to be able to make your own decisions every day [laughs], instead of: 'Wake up at this time, we're going to the studio. OK right, this is what you've got to cook with. Start cooking.' To actually wake up and go, 'Oh, I can walk out of the house and go get a coffee . . .' It was great to get home and spend as much time as possible with my daughter and Rhiannon, and enjoy the last little bit of this pregnancy. I'm extremely busy at the moment; I've got about four things on the go.
PS: We know there were mums in the competition and Sarah often talked about missing her family, but you also have a young family and like you said, your partner's pregnant. What got you through the challenge of being away from them for so long?
Jamie: I suppose the thought of them, to be honest! Every time I did get a chance to speak to them, there was nothing but support from home. I left Rhiannon in a relatively sticky situation, looking after a toddler and pregnant, and it's something we thought about extensively. But at the end of the day she was always supportive, she always knew I could do it, and knew I could go far in the competition. She was more than happy to provide support throughout the whole thing.
PS: How did it feel to be sometimes described as cocky by guest judges and chefs?
Jamie: [Laughs] It just doesn't bother me. I don't feel I'm cocky, because being cocky implies that you think you're better than everybody else. I was just always very confident with what I was doing, and most of the time I wasn't even confident in that! A lot of the time I was just trying to convince myself that I did know what I was doing, and trying to get your head in the mindset of, 'Right, I have read this, I have done this before, I can do it.' If you go into anything with a defeatist attitude you're not gonna come out at the end doing very well, so I went into every challenge expecting to win, and putting pressure on myself to win. That came off however it came off, but it doesn't bother me at all.
Source: Network Ten