Live blog: Masterchef finale

09:32, Jun 12 2012
Ana Schwarz
MELTDOWN APPROACHING?: Masterchef 2012 finalist Ana Schwarz.

Ice-cool marketing executive Chelsea Winter is New Zealand's new Masterchef, beating Waiheke Island mother-of-three in a nail-biting finale to the TV One show. See what happened during the show in our live blog below.

Are you sitting comfortably? Got your bets placed on whether Ana or Chelsea takes the title? Then we'll begin...

7.33: Here I come... ooh this is nervewracking. Look at Ana doing her yoga, being all zen.

Chelsea Winter.
ICE QUEEN: Masterchef 2012 finalist Chelsea Winter

7.35: They look so nervous (but still like they want to stab each other with a potato peeler).

7.36: Oh dear, the takeaway challenge - Ana's epic fail - remember that? But she got through thanks to even bigger fails on the part of Alana (the tattooed one) and Al (the old geezer).

7.37: Chelsea dodges a bullet, Ana drops the ball - how many more metaphors can we mix in one sentence?


7.40: Ok, enough of this recap business, I want to see blood on the floor.

7.41: Oh-oh the Singapore recap is coming... is anyone going to mention Ingredient-Gate?

7.42: Shots of Auckland traffic. Wake me up when the real action starts, will you?

7.43: Hang about, this looks more like it. They've brought all the old contestants back to witness the fun. Can you remember any of their names?

7.44: Chelsea says she is crapping herself. Not in the kitchen, please! They both "really want this" etc etc.

7.49: They're finally ready, and Simon and Ray are lugging a massive pot into the kitchen. It's a taste test!

7.50: It's an "Indian classic" packed full of 20 ingredients and the finalists have two minutes to name as many ingredients as they can.

7.51: Ana is first... she can see cinnamon stick and curry leaves. We can see peas and potatoes!

7.52: Ana reckons she got 18 ingredients and now it's Chelsea's turn. She's spotted the peas, clever girl. But is it beef or lamb?

7.53: Ok, so Chelsea is first up to go through her list. She's got peas, potatoes, green chilli, cinnamon, fresh coriander, salt, oil, cumin seeds, cardamom, stock... hang on, Simon says there's no cardamom. Or stock.

7.54: She's back on track with tomatoes and garlic, but boy, has she made a big error. After 16 weeks she thinks Ray McVinnie puts curry powder in his curries?

7.55: And, err, there ain't no beef in an Indian curry either. Oh well. She got 11 out of 20. That's still a pass!

7.56: Ana's turn. She spots potatoes, peas, curry leaves, green chilli, lamb, coriander, vegetable oil, cinnamon stick, ginger, garlic, onion and turmeric. Oh dear, that ends the winning streak - no turmeric - but she's equalled Chelsea's score already.

8.01: Oh no Ana makes the beef mistake too. And she misfires on tomato paste and vegetable stock. But she gets it right with tomatoes and cumin seed. Is she right? Yes!

8.02: Ana leads 13-11. And, if you're interested, they didn't identify nigella seeds, fenugreek, goat, lemon zest and water. Did you get those?

8.03: Josh gives Chelsea his serious face. I love it when he puts that on.

8.04: Time for challenge #2. What's it going to be? Chelsea guesses tripe. Please, no!

8.05: Wooohooo, here comes a real huntin', shootin', fishin' man, Masterchef season two contestant Cameron Petley. And he's toting a side of venison!

8.06: Deer oh deer. They have to cook two dishes, an entree and main, from the venison, including a jus from the roasted bones. And Josh is going to help them select the cuts of meat. That's lucky, because they look terrified by the sight of meat that's not shrink-wrapped.

8.07: Chelsea chooses the fillet (because she didn't know what else to ask for?) then she gets three minutes in the pantry.

8.08: Ana chooses the eye fillet and the loin, but goes to pieces in the pantry and forgets the sugar and veal reduction she wants for her jus. Oh Ana, why do you do it to yourself?

8.11: Feral cats? What? Are they in the next challenge? Oh, sorry, it's an advert.

8.12: That's better, we're back. They have 90 minutes to cook these two dishes. Ana is gutted about leaving the stuff in the pantry. Imagine how the deer feels!

8.13: Chelsea is making venison carpaccio and fillet of venison with kumara mash; Ana is doing venison carpaccio (are they sharing?) and venison with asparagus.

8.14: Simon is shouting already and Ana is running around like a mad chook. And we have another hour and 15 minutes of this to go.

8.15: Chelsea doesn't want her jus to be too winey. Or is that whiney?

8.16: I love that Cameron guy. Can't we see more of him?

8.17: Just 30 minutes to go on this challenge and Simon is wheeling out another deer in the headlights pun. Meanwhile, Ana is explaining how to cook venison properly. Something about seasoning, searing and resting.

8.18: Again, Ana doesn't follow her own advice - she hasn't let her vension rest and it's bleeding everywhere like a stuck pig. I mean a stuck deer.

8.20: They've done it! Ana's looks like a bit of a dog's breakfast, Chelsea's looks very pretty. But will looks be enough?

8.25: Tasting time. Ana says her dishes look "a bit yuck". She's not the one that works in marketing then!

8.26: The judges taste Ana's dishes. Cameron reckons the entree was a bit of a letdown. Ray says the flavours are not robust or clear. They like the main though.

8.26: Simon reckons Chelsea's entree is ''absolutely faultless". Josh reckons it's "bloody good". Cameron says she's made a lovely main course and Ray really pushes the boat out and calls it "really good".

8.27: Crunch time. Simon tells Chelsea he'd happily put her entree on the menu at his restaurant. Scores out of 20 coming up... Ana gets 12 out of 20, which puts her on 25 out of 40. Chelsea gets 18 out of 20, which puts her four points ahead.

8.30: Poor Ana is devastated. Here come the tears.

8.31: But there's no time to cry over spilt jus, here comes the mystery box challenge. Who's the special guest going to be? Could it be? Yes, it's Rick Stein!

8.32: And he wants them to make a Malaysian prawn laksa. Mmmm, laksa. I'm hungry.

8.33: So they are getting a recipe to make it with - isn't that cheating? But Chelsea is still worried.

8.38: Now they have 60 minutes to cook "the laksa of your life" says Josh. I do wish they wouldn't run around so much, it makes me nervous.

8.39: Chelsea looks completely overawed. Is it the laksa, or Rick Stein, or has she just cut her finger by accident?

8.40: Ana is suddenly in her element (note, not on her element, that would be painful). Could this be her chance to make up some points?

8.42: Ana says Asian food is all about balancing flavours, but Chelsea is making it look like it's all about ticking things off the list of recipe instructions.

8.43: Simon is lurking near Chelsea's workstation like a lion stalking his prey.

8.44: Ana, for once, has not rolled her eyes or broken a sweat. Can she have finally found her niche?

8.45: Rick loves her laksa and the others concur, even chilli-averse Josh.

8.46: Rick is being very kind about Chelsea's laksa, even though it looks like she threw the garnish at it from across the room. But he says Ana's is better. Then he says he doesn't want to be involved in scoring them. What a sweetheart!

8.47: Scorecard time. Ana's needed more punch, but it gets 17 out of 20. Chelsea gets 14, but she's still one point ahead. She's happy enough with that.

8.50: Time for the last challenge. What's it going to be? A chocolate-covered Josh Emmett? They say it's going to be huge and like something they've never seen before... but we'll have to wait until after the ad break.

8.54: It's a tortuous trifle! But this isn't anything like the horror my mother-in-law makes, it's got 10 different layers and it's about half a metre tall!

8.55: It's got walnut sponge, strawberry jelly, berry gel (whatever that is), custard, macerated fruit, Italian meringue and chocolate marquise fingers. And some other stuff.

8.56: Euro chef Eugene Hamilton can make one of these babies in two hours, but Chelsea and Ana have two hours. Eeek!

8.57: Eugene says the hardest bit is putting the layers together. I reckon the hardest bit would be fitting it in the fridge.

8.58: Um, what is Ana doing? The walnuts aren't going to get chopped up in that mixer!

8.59: Eugene reckons she is about to make a monumental stuff-up. Get in there and help her, then!

9.00pm: Ana is trying to pour her mixture into a siphon. Simon is coming to her rescue - sort of - and she's twigged. I think. But will it work?

9.01: The other contestants look bored rigid. I bet they're all thinking, 'it should have been me!'

9.02: Ana is now following the instructions and is about to put the sponge in the microwave. Oh well, if that's what it says to do.

9.03: Chelsea has macerated the fruit too early. Cripes! She's washing off the liqueur to rescue the fruit from an early death by alcohol poisoning. Eugene reckons she's about 15 minutes behind and her sponge technique isn't doing her any favours.

9.04: I still think a chocolate-covered Josh would have been better. Don't you?

9.05: Oh no, Ana's put the gelling agent into the peach jelly when it should have been saved for her 'spheres'. I sense trouble ahead.

9.09: Ana decides to improvise. I don't feel very good about this.

9.10 Simon asks Chelsea if she's going to be the next Masterchef. What's she supposed to say, "um, no thanks"?

9.11: Chelsea slaps a layer of sponge on top of the cream, but she's supposed to have put a layer of sherbet on top. Rats! Nevermind, she's going to keep going and stick the sherbet in later.

9.12: For god's sake Simon, stop shouting!

9.13: How come they were saying Chelsea was so far behind and suddenly she's caught up?

9.14: Woohooo, it's over! Now, pass us a spoon, there's heaps of that trifle to go around.

9.15: Ana puts making the trifle on a par with having her three kids. It did look like hard work.

9.16: Ana is ready to go home. I know the feeling.

9.17: The judges assess Ana's trifle. Simon says it's spectacular, but the peach jelly is lumpy. A-ha, that's where that missing gelling agent got to.

9.17: Now it's time for Chelsea's trifle to get the once-over. Ray says it's more like a trifle, Simon says the Italian meringue wasn't cooked enough and the others concur.

9.18: Good grief, did you see what Alana (the tattooed one who got kicked out for making a terrible pizza) is wearing?

9.19: Phew, time to put the kettle on before the big reveal. Who do you reckon has done better?

9.23: The judges have all got suited up in the ad break. Suddenly I feel underdressed.

9.24: Ray gives Ana's trifle 7/10 and so does Eugene. Josh gives it 8/10. Simon gives it 8/10. That's a total of 72 points out of 100. Is it enough?

9.25: Simon gives Chelsea's trifle 9/10. Ray gives it 8/10 and Eugene gives it 8/10. She needs five points to win. Josh gives her 9/10.

9.26: Chelsea is the winner! I repeat, Chelsea Winter has won Masterchef 2012!

9.27: Chelsea can't believe her luck. She gives a nice speech, thanking Ana, her boyfriend Mike, her family and the judges.

9.28: Chelsea is crying, but she is already talking about writing a cookbook and opening a restaurant.

9.28: Ana is obviously devastated but makes a nice speech too.

9.29: Awww, here comes Chelsea's boyf. And Ana's family. Look at those cute kids! Her husband is crying, she's crying, I'm practically crying. Now it's time to party!