Dunedin teacher Stuart Todd has missed out being in the MasterChef
What was your biggest success on MasterChef?
I had so many big successes during the show, but the one that sticks out for me was when the boys took out the girls in the birthday challenge. It was such a buzz to lead a team of good buggers and come out on top.
What was your worst moment on the show?
The worst moment in the show for me was when nothing went right for me in the Melbourne second challenge. I knew I had let myself down and I wasn’t happy at all with the standard of food I produced.
What did you learn from being on MasterChef?
‘What didn’t I learn?’ is probably a better question! The whole experience from start to finish was one big learning curve. Moving to the big smoke, living with 11 other people and learning to cook for some of the most amazing people in the most amazing places were just a few things I learnt throughout my MasterChef experience.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I don’t think I would change much at all. I put myself in a very good position to win MasterChef but just missed out on the final. I worked so hard during the whole process and knew when I left I had given everything I had.
Who has inspired your passion for cooking?
All the judges and contestants inspired me in their own way and I got so much out of the MasterClasses - but Ray McVinnes style of food really appealed to me.
If you were having any three people, alive or dead, over for dinner, who would they be and what would you cook for them?
I would have the Otago Rugby Teams’ front row and we would have a BBQ with all the trimmings and a few cold Speights.
What’s your favourite dish to cook?
I don’t have just a favourite dish but love to experiment with all different foods.
If you could visit any restaurant in the world, which one would it be?
It wouldn’t bother me where in the world I was, as long as the beer was cold and my friends and family were with me - that would be good enough for me. A family dinner at Cam sounds pretty good though.
What was your most embarrassing moment from the MasterChef kitchen?
It was something you didn’t see on TV. I was basting my lamb rack in the first challenge and I went to taste the seasoning with the same spoon and I burnt the inside of my mouth. When the judges asked if I had tasted the dish I had to explain that I couldn’t taste a thing.
Who was your favourite MasterChef contestant?
That’s a tough question as everyone had different qualities which drew them to me. Jax was the life of the party and a very good person to talk to. Michael was the funniest but I spent a lot of time with Cam and Anthony as they were really good guy to relax and have a beer with.
What's next for you?
The next big thing for me is getting married to me beautiful partner Shauni and having our wee girl Gracie being part of our special day. The whole MasterChef experience has kicked-started me into starting my own small business doing cooking classes and a whole lot of other avenues around food - as well as working with children in the kitchen. The kitchen environment can teach children so many life skills and there is an abundance of talented children out there just waiting for someone to help them along.
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