MasterChef’s Linda Says Her Fellow Contestants Are the Reason She Got So Close to the Finale

Linda MasterChef
Network Ten

Linda Dalrymple has waved goodbye to MasterChef Australia 2021, exiting the top five after a gruelling challenge set by prodigy chef Hugh Allen.

Having been tasked with recreating his astonishing bottle brush dessert, Dalrymple told POPSUGAR Australia that, as determined as she was to follow the steps (all seven pages of them!) and push through, things just didn’t go her way.

“It was going great at the start,” she said. “But then with the liquid nitrogen stand while trying to do the caramel sticks, it just wasn’t working and it was taking too long – it took me a little bit of time to get it into the mould.

“And then you start to hear the judges give the time calls and you realise somehow there’s only an hour left! And then having issues with the tempering of the chocolate, that just took forever.”

Regardless, the mum-of-two cannot get over how fortunate she was to experience all that the competition had to offer and to make it to the top five, crediting her fellow contestants with helping her get there.

“Starting the MasterChef journey, I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity so I decided to just go with the flow and enjoy it,” she told POPSUGAR Australia. “To be so close [to the finale], at the start of the completion that was just something I never expected and without their [her fellow contestants] love and support honestly, I probably wouldn’t have gotten to the stage I did during the competition.”

Dalrymple also credited her fellow contestants with exposing her to new cooking styles and food inspiration, saying, “Being a full-time mum, cooking was definitely about cooking food my kids love eating and normally, because of my background, Southeast Asian cuisine.

“The exposure that I received in MasterChef was phenomenal — learning how to make Indian cuisines or Bangladeshi cuisines or even Greek cuisines and food from other cultures like Middle Eastern,” she continued.
“And it’s really opened my eyes to all the different cultures of the world and also how similar each of the dishes can be, but tweaked slightly to the different culture that you’re from. The thing I love about food is that it’s so universal and brings everyone together.”

Citing the contestant’s trip to the Northern Territory as the absolute highlight of her MasterChef experience, Dalrymple also said that she deeply values having learned how to cook with Australian native ingredients.

“Before getting on the show, I had no idea what Australian native ingredients were and to be exposed to it and now that I can actually apply it to my cooking is just fantastic,” she said. “And the fact that it’s Australian owned and homegrown, it’s just amazing to actually use feels very special.”

Now that her time on MasterChef is over, the talented home cook has her sights set on hosting a few pop-ups and continuing to pursue a career in food, which she encourages people to follow via her Instagram account.

And, with the finale now less than a week away, we had to ask Dalrymple who she thinks will take home the grand prize and the title of MasterChef 2021.

“I honestly cannot pick a person,” she said. “The top four are absolutely amazing and it only takes just one split second of a decision or something that can actually change the whole game because they’re all just so fantastic.”

You can follow Linda’s food journey at @eating_with_chenwah and be sure to watch the MasterChef Australia 2021 finale on Network Ten and 10Play on July 13, 2021, at 7.30pm.

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