Pair to reveal talents away from TV

DEBBIE JAMIESON
Last updated 05:00 12/03/2014
MasterChef contestants Jaimie Stodler and Becs Stanley
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PURPLE PATCH: MasterChef contestants Jaimie Stodler and Becs Stanley, of Arrowtown, will demonstrate their new skills at the Gibbston Wine and Food Festival this weekend. 
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Nothing beats bawling your eyes out on national television for humiliation.

When MasterChef contestants Becs Stanley and friend Jaimie Stodler missed out on an opportunity to fly home to see their children and partners in Arrowtown, Stanley could not contain the emotion.

"I bawled my eyes out on national television and that's the first time of many you're probably going to see. It is as stressful as it appears on TV. In fact, it's more so."

The purple team has been one of the most successful so far in the latest series of the popular TV show, and the pair are excited to be showing their skills to their local supporters during demonstrations at Saturday's Gibbston Wine and Food Festival in the Queenstown Gardens.

They are sworn to secrecy on the outcome, but the untrained "foodies" were a little overwhelmed at the level of competition, Stodler said.

"There are a lot of very highly capable people involved in it. It was apparent really quickly. Even the first couples eliminated were extremely highly capable food people. It was really inspiring actually."

The pressure throughout the competition was among the most extreme she had experienced, she said, likening it to childbirth.

"The terror, the challenge, the excitement - there are a lot of things going on."

Stanley said they were kept in a "bubble", largely cut off from the outside world, although she had daily Skype calls with her family. The highs and lows of the show were extreme, and she missed family birthdays and other important events.

However, she would do it all again - especially to show her children what could be achieved.

"You can be criticised and put down, and pick yourself up and do it better. It's OK to be humiliated on national TV and go back and do it again."

Stodler, owner of Queenstown's Cup and Cake business, said they were privileged to be giving two demonstrations at the Gibbston Wine and Food Festival this weekend alongside the likes of former MasterChef winner Brett McGregor and Gibbston winemakers, and in front of their many local supporters.

"We are absolutely over the moon. The second they contacted us we were like ‘absolutely, we're in'."

All of their cooking now, including this weekend's demonstration, has been heavily influenced by their new skills learned on MasterChef.

The purple team continues its MasterChef journey on TV ONE on Sunday and Monday nights, with the remaining seven duos battling for the title.

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- The Southland Times

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