ROCKHAMPTON holds a special place in MasterChef cook Rachael Ciesiolka's heart.
The mum-of-two met the love of her life, husband of 25 years Tim, in Rocky after graduating from North Rockhampton High School.
"My family moved to Rockhampton in '85 and I did my final years of high school there," she told APN.
"Rocky brought my heart to me, meeting Tim there. It was the beginning of a new life for me."
The couple has lived all over Australia because of their careers in the Royal Australian Air Force, but Rachael and Tim's parents still call Rocky home.
She hopes to visit them soon after being eliminated from the reality cooking show tonight.
The 45-year-old, who currently lives in Darwin, lost an auction-style challenge in which she sacrificed precious cooking time for key ingredients.
"It was my first auction and I think I may have got a bit carried away," she said.
"I knew what I wanted off that table I just didn't know how to do it.
"I was up against marvelous competition… and when I saw my final dish I knew it wasn't up to that level."
Since leaving the show Rachael has started up her own in-home gourmet catering service Cook's Night Off.
"They can be their own guest at their own dinner party," she said.
"They can relax while I do the cooking."
She also wants to become a home economic mentor for NT school students and educate them, and the wider public, about native food.
"MasterChef has taught me to follow a dream and has allowed me to move ahead with it," she said.
"Kylie Kwong was an amazing mentor for us."
Her highlight from her time on the show is having Kwong add her "Rachael's crab" dish - Szechwan and coriander crab - to her Sydney restaurant Billy Kwong.
MasterChef Australia airs Sundays through Thursdays at 7.30pm on Channel 10.
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