55-step recipe melts down to 2 points in MasterChef finale
BILLIE McKay is savouring the sweet taste of success after being crowned MasterChef in tonight's emotionally-charged grand finale.
Currently enjoying some much-needed downtime before moving to the UK to claim part of her prize - a job at Heston Blumenthal's restaurant The Fat Duck - she was crowned "the most complete cook the competition had seen" by judge Matt Preston.
"I was feeling physically sick standing there waiting for the verdict - it was the biggest moment of the competition with the highest nerves and I was just sweating and shaking and terrified really," Billie told APN.
The win came down to a narrow two-point margin with Billie scoring a total of 82/100 to fellow finalist Georgia Barnes' score of 80/100.
The intense three-round episode saw the pair battle it out in a mystery box challenge, a meal for their families and a complex pressure test set by Heston.
Being reunited with family they hadn't seen in months during the second challenge proved highly emotional for both them with Billie describing the moment as "something like an out of body experience".
But it was Heston's intimidating 55-step 'Botrytis Cinerea' pressure test that pushed them to their limit.
"It was just out of control... I didn't think they could ramp it up as much as they did... there were so many different elements and it was all really confusing and high pressure," Billie said.
Known for being cool and collected under pressure she revealed that despite her calm appearance she often felt she was "going mad" underneath but had enjoyed the steep learning curve.
"I really can't speak any more highly of the experience, it's been really positive and doing it with Georgia as well made it a hugely fun - I know she'll go really far as well so it's great."
Along with $250,000 prize money and the unexpected job offer Billie also scored an Alfa Romeo Giulietta and a monthly column in the Australian food magazine Delicious.
Meanwhile Brisbane-based Georgia took home $20,000 to put towards her food dream and was equally as complimentary of her rival.
"I'm so proud of Billie... I think her and I have an amazing friendship and I couldn't think of anyone better to go into that with - it was a very good battle."
"It was so hard but so exciting and to be honest I never felt like I was going to lose - even if it were runner up it was an amazing achievement."
"I gave every challenge in that finale my absolute best and that's all you can ask for really is to walk away feeling like you gave it your all, I wouldn't change a thing I'd do it all again."
Since the show she has been working on doing cooking schools and gaining experience presenting in front of people doing cooking demonstrations at events was interested in writing and food styling.
"Eventually I'd love to open a space that is dedicated to food - a studio where I can run classes from and do some catering and food styling, just a beautiful space dedicated to food in Brisbane."
"I'm prepared now to get as much experience as I can and really prepare myself to open something special and make my dream come true."