MasterChef Australia Top 3 contestant Alana Lowes.
MasterChef Australia Top 3 contestant Alana Lowes.

Alana 'so close' to grand finale

BRISBANE journalist Alana Lowes missed out on this Sunday’s MasterChef grand finale by the smallest of margins last night.

Lowes lost out to Kate Bracks in last night’s marathon four-hour challenge in which both of the amateur cooks had to recreate Adriano Zumbo’s elaborate and completely edible fairytale gingerbread house.

And with Lowes’ elimination died any chance of a Queensland winner. Bracks, a mum of three from Orange, NSW, will face off against 25-year-old South Australian film projectionist Michael Weldon.

“I was so close,” said Lowes.

“You work so hard to make it into that finals week. It’s all about getting into that Top 4 and once you’re in there you’re like ‘Right I want to get into that final’. It was really disappointing but I’m so excited about getting out there and seeing where all of this experience can take me.”

Lowes’ decision to turn her gingerbread structure into a derelict house after her windows cracked was ultimately her downfall.

“I think we really needed about six or seven hours to do the gingerbread house justice,” she said.

“It was really frantic. There were so many jellies we had to get together. I made six or seven jellies and I was hoping that was going to get me over the line. I knew Kate only did one or two jellies, but her house looked more like a run down English cottage whereas mine looked like a run down cottage from the Bronx.”

Since returning home to Brisbane and her husband Rob, Lowes has been working on recipes for her new blog and future cook book.

“My cook book is going to be filled with simple, beautiful and stylish dishes all inspired by those memories of travelling and childhood,” she said.

“I really want it to be a book that people read and get inspired to get into the kitchen and cook with their families.”

Lowes said the smoked lamb dish she cooked during the New York trip solidified her long-term dreams of telling stories through food.

“The whole idea of going out and talking to people and then creating a dish inspired by those stories, that’s the way I want to cook post MasterChef,” she said.

“To listen to stories and create dishes, that for me was the point in the competition where I said ‘Hey, this is exactly what I want to do and I’m getting to practice it here on MasterChef’.”

She believes Sunday’s finale will come down to who stays calm under pressure.

“I think it could go either way. It’s going to be about who makes the least mistakes really,” she said.

 “If they can just keep remembering to stay cool and calm. I think a lot of people said that the one thing I did was stay calm under pressure. What you find is as soon as you get nervous and flustered you don’t perform as well.

“I can’t wait to catch up and see what the challenges are they’re going to have to be tackling. I think the judges will be throwing everything at the two of them to make sure whoever comes out at the end earns that spot.”

Tonight, all of the contestants from series three return to the MasterChef kitchen for the final MasterClass of the series. The contestants turn the tables on the judges, presenting them with a mystery box and a strict timeframe.

MasterChef Australia airs tonight at 7.30pm and the grand finale airs Sunday from 6.30pm on Ten.

Retired couple win $1.2M 50 years after life-changing win

Premium Content Retired couple win $1.2M 50 years after life-changing win

It is their second big lottery win. The first came almost 50 years ago and set them...

New $1m cash splash to pay visitors to see the Reef

Premium Content New $1m cash splash to pay visitors to see the Reef

Queensland government offers more cash incentives for visitors to Great Barrier...