MasterChef Australia Top 5 contestant Ellie Paxton-Hall.
MasterChef Australia Top 5 contestant Ellie Paxton-Hall.

Ellie narrowly misses finals week

THE pressure of making it into the Top 4 finally got to MasterChef elimination survivor Ellie Paxton-Hall.

The former nursing student let the pointy end of the competition get the better of her in last night’s pressure test when she had to revisit the ingredients from her biggest mistake in the series – her stuffed capsicum with caramelised oranges.

“I think the fact that finals week was just around the corner was playing on my mind a lot. I just really wanted to get through the elimination,” she said.

“I immediately put myself into that position I’d been in that day that was horrible. I knew I needed to pull myself out of it, that was ages ago and I’d learned so much since then.”

Cooking against fellow Brisbane local Alana Lowes, after Dani Venn decided to use her precious immunity pin, was also difficult for Paxton-Hall.

“She’s one of my really good friends in the house…and she was not wanting to go,” she said.

“It was disappointing to be knocked out but at the same time I’m really proud of myself.”

Paxton-Hall’s eggy crème brulee and unbalanced flavours dish didn’t stack up against Lowes' lamb cutlets, fennel salad, and spiced poached pear with orange anglaise and chocolate ganache.

Since leaving MasterChef, the 21-year-old has been catching up with friends and family and organising work experience with Neil Perry at his Rockpool restaurant in Melbourne.

“I’m going to do that until they give me an apprenticeship,” she said.

“I know quite a few people down there. It’s a big change but it’s going go to be a good change.”

She refutes contestant Mat Beyer’s labelling of the lockdown MasterChef contestants are placed under as a prison.

“It was hard but it wasn’t a like a prison,” she said.

“You were surrounded by people in the same situation, you got to cook a lot and we were given any type of ingredient we wanted.”

She tips Lowes to make it to the grand final, but says the other spot could go to anyone.

“They’re all amazing but they all have different strengths so it depends on the challenge,” she said.

In tonight’s MasterClass, it’s Christmas in July as judge Gary Mehigan cooks beef short rib and daikon radish.

MasterChef Australia airs Friday through Sunday at 7.30pm on Ten.

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