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  • Where would we be without Masterchef and the other assorted cooking shows which have invaded our screens
    and sent some of us into a rabid, cooking frenzy? Does one throw caution to the wind and apply, risking culinary suicide? Not to mention having your personal life plunged into the deep fryer with no control over the temperature settings.
    For those contemplating entering the culinary super highway to fame and fortune beware! The egg-whites may not be as glossy as they seem. If you make the mistake of not beating them enough or adding too much sugar you may find your attempt at the perfect pav turn into a complete disaster no matter how many times you have made it before.
    Personally I am a fan of series one and did apply for it but never finished the application. At the time my own tried and tested home cooked recipes seemed to be boiling rapidly into complete cooking hell! And in the end even I could not compete with the convenience and lure of the quick, cheap, nasty and nutritionally devoid take away but hey there is no accounting for taste- is there? And one really does not have control over someone elses tastebuds. Now that being said and done, the opportunity to re-apply again made its way in July of 2009, smack bang in the middle of my own increasing culinary chaos. For me it was simply the challenge of seeing whether my writing would stand up for itself and be noticed and if that was the case then it was at least one positive stroke back in the right direction.
    I love to cook, more specifically I enjoy cooking for other people and I come from a home where my mum affectionately known as Lovie has taught both my sister and I well. The fact that baby sister became an amazing and talented chef is really no surprise. I even considered re-training myself at Regency Tafe when I returned from a stint living and working in Bangkok.( In the end that did not eventuate) However, I have realised that I prefer to write, photograph and talk about food and consider myself just a passionate and creative home cook. Of course the Masterchef dream (and make sure you are able to articulate this well when you are trying to impress the judges and producers) was for little sister and I to open our own business. That was the dream but reality can be a different recipe.
    The first step in realising your Masterchef aspiration is this. You must be able to write an application that stands out from the rest. One that jumps out of the thousands and yes there are thousands.( take it from me I just missed out on the top 50 the first time and there were 8000 applications) The fact that I also did it a second time with some slight revision proves that if anything I can at least string a few good words together to be convincing enough to say pick me, pick me.
    So here is some advice that I will share with those considering taking the plunge. The application process is lengthy and composed of a series of questions set out in sections. You will need to provide some basic information as to who you are but there are ample opportunities to be creative enough to express yourself in a way to capture the attention of whoever has been given the arduous task of culling the thousands of applications into perhaps 100 from each state, if that. So here are a few questions and two responses that I will provide. Your task is to decide which one of these responses is the correct one to ensure that your written application makes it to the top of the list.

    1.Who taught you to cook? What is your first memory of cooking?
    Answer A: My good friend Heston Blumenthal taught me to cook. I befriended him when I was working and living in London and I secretly worked in his kitchen for 50 pence an hour. My first memory of cooking was successfully making a pot of Deb instant mashed potato for a dinner party that I hosted for 80 guests in my backyard. I served this with pig's guts and chicken livers finished off with a cab sav, merlot, shiraz reduction and crispy sage leaves.

    Answer B: My mother taught me to cook. One of my first vivid memories is watching her make her apple streudel pastry by hand. She would stretch it across the table skillfully while I was assigned my lump to play with. The smell of her baking was nothing short of culinary fabulous. Over the years I have continued to watch and learn from her. She is self taught and an alchemist in the kitchen often creating her own recipes.

    2.Have you ever appeared or acted on TV? If so please provide details.
    Answer A: Yes I appeared on the Super Saturday show as a contestant. Unfortunately I was unable to answer the general knowledge question ( tell me what 12 year old knows which sea captain fought in the Battle of Trafalgur?) much to the disgust of my oldest brother because I did not win him the fold up pool table. I have also acted in a seriously bad student film as an over acting refugee. Hopefully all evidence of that has been destroyed!

    Answer B:Yes I am a former student of NIDA and have appeared on several Aussie soaps as a dead corpse, a shoplifter and a seriously deranged psychiatric patient foaming at the mouth. I also won best actor for my high school performance as one of the ugly hags in Macbeth and I have had extensive calisthenics experience.

    3.What is the most difficult thing you have had to personally overcome?
    Answer A: The most difficult thing for me to personally overcome was watching my footy team Port Power get slaughtered in the 2007 grandfinal against Geelong. It caused me a great deal of pain and distress and by half time I was paraletic drunk and lying on my bathroom floor unconscious. My two sons had to witness this tragic behaviour which caused me a great deal of shame and embarrassment.

    Answer B:Discovering that my husband had been fucking his best friend's wife .The grandfinal episode probably comes out just in front- just. Call me a fan. Cheating husbands can be disposed of. You have to stick by your team through thick and thin- the sign of a true supporter!!

    Answers: 1B, 2A and 3A.

    * Please note that if you have any skeletons in your closet like a cheating husband, a shoplifting grandmother or you were really horrible to a number of people during your high school years then I would advise you to consider forgetting Masterchef! Also if you have questionable photos of yourself in the eighties sporting a fermullet and big shoulder pads then you might want to ensure all photographic evidence is destroyed or be prepared to look like a complete tosser. That I will leave to you and I am happy to assist anyone still brave enough to have their personal life made into public property. It will come at a price though, I no longer write for nothing...
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