MasterChef’s Maja Was Close to Making Another Pressure Test Decision Before Jock Intervened


In possibly the worst case of sliding doors in MasterChef Australia history, eliminated contestant Maja Veit may have avoided cooking the sweet-tart.

On Tuesday, May 4 episode of MasterChef, the losing team from Monday’s challenge were tasked with a sweet and savoury pressure test. This particular one had been set by judge Jock Zonfrillo and was all about applying pressure and cooking out of your comfort zone.

Each contestant had to choose which dish they felt most comfortable making, however, there was a twist. Jock asked the cooks to “step out of their comfort zone”, switching the dishes on them.

Maja, who was seen to be standing behind the savoury dish to start, almost chose the sweet at first, meaning she would have been in her comfort zone of the savoury one (keeping up?).

“I almost just walked to the sweet one,” Maja admitted. “I was standing in between the two and Jock said, ‘Oh Maja, which one have you chosen between the sweet or savoury?’ so I went to the savoury one thinking, ‘this one sounds more interesting and something that I’d like to do but at the same time, it seemed harder because it had more elements to it.”

Even though she has opted for the opposite of her gut, she said it was really hard to know whether cooking the savoury tart “would have made a difference.”

“Who knows,” she said. “If I had done the savoury tart which is what I wanted to do then everyone else would have been doing what they wanted to do. I can’t even think like that. The challenge was what it was, which is put you out of your comfort zone and based on that, I went home. That’s just how the cookie crumbles.”

During her time in the kitchen, the 33-year-old learned to keep things “simple”.

“Keep it simple,” she said. “Cooking something fresh instead of complicated. I tried to make dessert and it’s not something I would usually make at home. I don’t even cook sweet things at home. I constantly reverted to that thinking, this is something that will get me over the line. I wanted to do things that were a little out of my comfort zone but also something I think I know how to do. I should have stuck with delicious, simple, fresh ingredients and savoury dishes.”

Coming up next, Maja would like to turn an old retro vintage Airstream trailer into a fine-dining sit-down mobile restaurant — how cool!

“I want to focus on Indigenous Australian ingredients and do something along the lines of things that grow on our coastline and things that are accessible in most places around Australia.

She continued: “Obviously, you need the right licence to go out and pick those things, but dishes inspired by what we have growing in the wild. I think Jock was one of the most fascinating judges on the on the show for me because I really appreciate what he’s done for Australian cuisine.”

Watch MasterChef Australia on Network Ten from 7.30 pm, Sunday to Wednesday nights.

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