MasterChef Australia Top 8 contestant Ashleigh Bareham.
MasterChef Australia Top 8 contestant Ashleigh Bareham. Channel 10

Ashleigh's sweet success: Buderim baker back in the kitchen

ASHLEIGH Bareham is tasting sweet success after her MasterChef elimination last night.

The Buderim baker has landed her dream job as a trainee pastry chef at Melbourne's Om Nom dessert bar.

The 24-year-old recently moved south for the job, which she started last week.

"It's my first time properly living out of home,  so it's a bit strange and I'm still getting used to it," Bareham told APN.

"It's a bit cold down here. I'm missing the Queensland sun."

MasterChef Australia contestant Ashleigh Bareham pictured during last night's pressure test.
MasterChef Australia contestant Ashleigh Bareham pictured during last night's pressure test. Martin Philbey

The former childcare worker, who used to sell her brownies at various farmers markets on the Coast, has already learned a lot under the tutelage of Om Nom's head chef Christy Tania.

"I was in there on my first day going 'Oh my goodness Christy is teaching me all these amazing things'," she said.

"The desserts are delicious; I've tasted a few already. One of them is called a Chocolate Terrarium and it's like a little garden and at the base is a churro. It takes me back to the Mexican challenge on MasterChef when Anna and I spent hours and hours making churros.

"The craziness of those team challenges sets you up really well to work in a commercial kitchen and prepares you for the pressures of service."

Immediately after her MasterChef exit Bareham also completed a week of work experience with pastry chef Darren Purchese, whose delicate Passion Flower dessert sent her home.

Chef Darren Purchese's Passion Flower dessert pictured in a scene from MasterChef.
Chef Darren Purchese's Passion Flower dessert pictured in a scene from MasterChef. Martin Philbey

"In some ways I'm glad that's what I went out on," she said.

"It was quite a good challenge. It fell apart a bit at the end but I didn't have a disaster.

"I enjoyed it; I was in my element and I didn't cry through the whole cook (laughs)."

Bareham is working towards her long-term dream of opening a dessert bar with her sister Georgia and her mum Trudi, who suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis.

"Mum's health is still quite up and down, but it's better now than whilst I was on the show," she said.

"For now I'm just going to get stuck into this job at Om Nom and learn as much as I can."

Bareham tips Billie McKay as the cook to beat as the competition enters its final weeks.

"For a long time Billie has been really strong," she said.

"I'm sure she does get frazzled but she always seems so in control. In the pressure tests she's incredible. I think she could make it all the way."

MasterChef Australia airs Sundays through Thursdays at 8.30pm on Channel 10.



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