BRISBANE’S Sun Etheridge has a sunny outlook on her dramatic MasterChef exit.
The former credit analyst was eliminated after a lack of fryer space meant her fried chicken was undercooked in last night’s soul food challenge.
In one of the most heated exchanges between contestants, Hayden Quinn refused to share his fryer space with Etheridge.
But she doesn’t hold any grudges.
“It’s probably something I should have caught but you’re in a strange kitchen and you immediately start cooking. I should have realised that I needed to get my chicken in there a lot quicker,” she said.
“We’re at the Top 8 and there’s a lot on the line.
“Of course I would much rather be in it still and have got to continue on with all the amazing and exciting things that happen when you’re on MasterChef, but I was quite at peace with it. We were filming for six months by that point, and I’d made it to the Top 8 and to the overseas trip. I guess it was a bit bittersweet.”
Etheridge, who was in lock down for most of the week after losing the first New York challenge, even sees the silver lining in her confinement.
“It wasn’t bad. I got to go to New York and I can’t complain about that even if I spent most of it in a beautiful hotel room,” she said.
“I do understand why. If four people end up in elimination then it definitely wouldn’t have been fair if I had been larking around New York and they’d been working their butts off and ended up in the elimination anyway.”
Etheridge hopes her good mate Billy Law, who returned to the competition after Mat Beyer was forced to leave for having a smart phone, makes it to the grand final.
“I’d love to see Billy win it,” she said.
“He’s a really lovely person and he has the full skill set in my opinion. He’s one of the few people who are really strong in both dessert and savoury.
“He’s got a really good grasp flavours and techniques and on how he can evolve and adapt them and make them his own.”
She’s also proud of nursing student Ellie Paxton-Hall’s New York comeback.
“People underestimate her a lot. She’s 21 and she’s just such a bubbly, sweet personality but she’s very, very good under pressure,” she said.
“She has amazing food knowledge for somebody of her age, and she’s one of the people who I think is playing the whole thing without artifice. She’s 100 percent real on screen.”
Her MasterChef highlights include cooking on the Moran family farm and meeting the bevy of celebrity chefs who have visited the series over the past few months.
“Meeting Heston (Blumenthal) was ridiculous in anybody’s books. He’s a very lovely man,” she said.
“That’s the big thing, those moments - a lot of which were off camera - when these amazing chefs who are superstars just hang out for 30 minutes talking (to us). Every day on MasterChef you remind yourself yes it’s stressful and it’s crazy but these are opportunities you would never get to do in real life. For me those times really made it worth it.”
Etheridge hopes to start a new career as a journalist and has started a food blog, www.sunetheridge.com.
MasterChef Australia airs Sundays to Fridays at 7.30pm on Ten.
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