Sara Oteri has been a Masterchef favourite since the very first episode this year.
That’s not a surprise really. The Perth native and former advertising creative has a charismatic TV presence. She’s warm and authentic.
Her Masterchef run finished last night as she fronted up for her first pressure test of the whole season. Sydney chef Grant King’s Liquid Gnocchi with Mushroom Consomme challenged all three contestants, but it was Reynold and Jessica who scrapped through to continue on in finals week.
So what's next for Sara?
"I’m working at The Kettle Black, for chef Jesse McTavish. I have a few things on the go, a few projects of my own. Hopefully they’ll come about in the next year or so," she told The Motherish exclusively.
She says working in the 'real world' is much less stressful than Masterchef.
"You know what to expect. There are no curveballs. There's no six hour barbeque challenge," she says referring to the team challenge that saw the amateur cooks prepare and serve slow cooked barbeque to 120 diners in just six hours.
Masterchef has copped a fair bit of criticism this season for the skills required to make the dishes set for challenges and pressure tests. But Sara says, "I think at the end of the day when we enter the competition we’re all still home cooks.
"The show lifts the standards, yes. But it’s also all of us who lift the standard as well. If one person does really well one week, we all go home and study and read and prepare to try harder."
The bread and butter for most reality television is personality clashes.
Nothing like whipping up a bit of drama between contestants to keep an audience interested. But Masterchef doesn't seem to do that.
"Yes, the lovely thing about Masterchef is that it doesn't focus on the drama," Sara remarks. But I ask her about John, sensing a bit of tension between the contestants in earlier weeks of this season.