MasterChef's first casualty
Aucklander Chelsea Holmes gets the bootLUCY CORRY
Auckland amateur cook Chelsea Holmes has vowed to pursue a career in food despite being kicked off MasterChef last night.
Holmes, 23, was surprised to be leaving the show after the judges described her gluten-free spicy carrot loaf as a "raw spice cake" that tasted strongly of baking soda.
"I was pretty shocked, but I hadn't tasted what I'd made so I wasn't aware of what it was like. I don't think anyone thought it was going to be me.
"I can bake, that's the funny thing. But it's not the same as baking at home. We were in this huge industrial kitchen, using machinery we'd never seen before and making things in such large quantities. Everyone found it really hard."
Holmes was part of the blue team in the tense show, which followed the 16 contestants through a nightshift at Auckland's Loaf Handcrafted Breads under the guidance of owner Sean Armstrong. The would-be MasterChefs had to make eight different types of bread to be served at the Hilton Hotel the following morning.
Holmes earned the judges' ire early on, after risking contaminating her ingredients by not making the gluten-free loaf in a separate area, but still felt confident, especially after watching her competitors wrestle with sticky ciabatta dough and temperamental pastry.
When the red team won the challenge, the writing was on the wall for Holmes and Lower Hutt truck driver Al Markham, who scored just 18 out of 40 for his croissants. Markham was given another chance and Holmes, in tears, was sent home.
"Maybe baking isn't for you," judge Ray McVinnie told her. "But you should be proud of yourself for getting this far."
Holmes, who has a 2 1/2 year old daughter, Annabelle, says she and husband Matthew discovered an unexpected bonus to her early exit from Masterchef - they are expecting another baby in August.
She said she planned to continue holding cooking classes at her Manukau home and writing her food blog, with the goal of one day writing a book of family friendly recipes.
"Cooking is my form of release, it's my art form. I just love being in the kitchen."
The remaining contestants are: Andrea Bathgate (Auckland), Andy Currin (Wellington), Matt Gilray (Christchurch), Alana Harper (Timaru), Al Markham ( Lower Hutt), Charlene McGechan (Rotorua), Dave McKinnon (Christchurch), Ben Munro (Russell), Chantelle O'Brien( Ashburton), Tony Price ( Auckland) Ana Schwarz ( Waiheke), Zee Tana (Auckland ), Brenton Thornton (Auckland), Chris Turner (Christchurch), Chelsea Winter ( Auckland).
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