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Long hours on set and strict rules: Lynton Tapp on what filming MasterChef is really like.

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On Sunday night’s episode of MasterChef Australia: Back To WinLynton Tapp became the first returning contestant to be eliminated from the MasterChef kitchen.

After finding himself in the top three contestants of the competition just last week, Lynton ended up fighting for his spot in the competition in the elimination round.

But after making an adventurous dish of blue swimmer crab, buckwheat and grilled asparagus, the 32-year-old failed to impress the judges, becoming the first of 24 contestants to exit the competition.

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Speaking to Mamamia following his elimination, Lynton shared what it felt like to be the first person eliminated from the series.

“There was a real, distinct disappointment,” Lynton admitted.

“I desperately didn’t want to be the first person. My only initial goal [going into the competition] was not to be eliminated first and to make it to the top 20,” he added.

“It left a bad taste in my mouth, that’s for sure. I desperately wanted to be there.”

Lynton first appeared on MasterChef Australia in season five in 2013, where he finished just short of the grand finale.

Now, seven years on from his appearance on the show, a lot has changed in Lynton’s life.

“When I first went on [MasterChef], I think I was 24 or 25,” he said.

“I’m 32 now and married with a lovely little baby. My world is completely different from all those years ago and for the better – I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”

 

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Following his time on the show, Lynton became well equipped in the kitchen, training under chef Matt Germanchis, before releasing his debut cookbook, Outback Pantry, in 2016.

He later went on to host TV shows A Taste of Travel and My Market Kitchen on Network 10, and opened restaurant Westwood in West Melbourne with his brother-in-law.

Armed with his newfound knowledge and experience, Lynton entered MasterChef Australia: Back To Win feeling much more confident than he did in 2013.

“I was focusing on different things in the competition this time with what I wanted to portray within my food and how I wanted my food to look,” he told Mamamia.

“I was also really allowing the pantry to guide what I was cooking. I didn’t go in there with any preconceived dishes in mind, I would just walk in, see the ingredients available, and quickly make a decision on what I was going to cook.

“During my first experience on the show, I would have a dish thought out in my mind and I would walk into the pantry and take the ingredients.”

Much like Lynton, many of the returning contestants are returning to the show with increased experience.

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“The calibre of the cooks and chefs that have returned this season is the best yet, as a whole,” he said.

“It’s a higher standard than any other season of MasterChef. A lot of people have come back extremely experienced and they have a lot of skill under their belt.

“It is anybody’s game. Any one of [the contestants] have unique attributes that could allow them to take out the title.”

As you may expect, the days spent filming MasterChef are lengthy. In fact, it’s been previously shared that the contestants often spend over 12 hours in the studio.

“They are some of the longest days you’ll ever experience because of the logistics involved,” Lynton said.

MasterChef is one of the biggest productions in Australia. There are 120 crew running around, plus contestants. If you have one department that runs out or one contestant who is late, which does happen, then that has a cascade effect on the day,” he continued.

“As you can imagine, especially in the first week, having 24 tastings – that time alone is hours and hours of just going through the dishes. They’re very long days and it’s tough.

“That’s one of the elements that’s not talked about much with MasterChef. For someone to make it to the end, they’ve got to have the mental determination and grit that a lot of other people don’t.”

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Viewers of the show have also long questioned whether contestants can tend to their dishes once the timer is up.

But according to Lynton, it’s virtually impossible.

“[After the dish is completed], it is minded by a professional food team so it’s keep in a safe food environment and to make sure you’re not touching your food before it’s judged,” he shared.

“When time is called, you have your producer and a food producer at your bench watching you. Once time is called, that’s it. There’s no touching your dish.”

Although Lynton was eliminated after just one week on the show, he was lucky enough to cook alongside guest judge Gordon Ramsay.

“I man crush him hard. He’s a beautiful man, isn’t he?” he said laughing.

“He’s a formidable chef but he’s also very caring and supportive. He’s 100 per cent present. He’s not on his phone or anything like that. He’s there, he’s engaging with you, he’s answering your questions.

“I really admired him as not only a chef, but as a professional within the food and media landscape.”

 

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Now, since finishing up on MasterChef, the stay-at-home dad has been spending his time in self-isolation sharing videos of him and his young son cooking on Instagram.

“Atticus and I are really enjoying our production at home, making our little videos,” he said.

“We’re having a really fun time doing it and it’s keeping me busy. It’s a nice way to tap into my professional abilities, while still being present at home and keeping Atticus entertained.”

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Feature Image: Supplied/Network Ten.


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