She was called the season’s comeback kid, who had the tenacity to claw back into the fray. Destiny also has other plans for her — MasterChef finalist Jessie Spiby is all the more certain that food is where she will strive higher, be it through a streetfood warehouse or curating food events back home Down Under. The contestant of the MasterChef Australia Season 7 airing on Star World (Monday to Friday at 9 pm) who was given a reprieve and is on air right now, is taking the experience in her stride. With just $ 500 in her pocket, at age 18, Jessie packed her bags and headed for the UK. But to learn about the present, one must start at the beginning, “Growing up, I have been surrounded by fresh food with farmers on both sides of my family. Becoming passionate about cooking happened while travelling, I was extremely low on funds so I began cooking to save money!,” says the lady who packed her bags and headed to London and Edinburgh. “I think being young and naive helped me grab the experience with both hands. I quickly found work and a place to live and settled into English life. I discovered who I was,” says the girl who has travelled to Italy, Turkey, Poland, Croatia and the Czech Republic in foodie pursuits. Looking back, Jessie smiles, “I loved waking up to the call to prayer at the mosques in Turkey. I will never forget how delicious tomatoes taste in Italy, or Poland’s warm and welcoming people still living with the after-effects of WWII.”
The kitchen conversations flow well for this girl who has explored the world, and Asia, particularly Vietnam which influenced her immensely. “Until I went to Vietnam, I had never eaten such amazing broth (pho). Now, I make broth at least once a week!” she adds.
The crazy competition, the intense scrutiny and endless stress aside, Jessie loved every single minute of MasterChef, “I love challenging myself and growing. If I can keep learning and growing, I don’t see why I can’t be a finalist! I have a deeper understanding of how to balance flavours. I think about how each element adds to the plate,” Jessie explains.
For the cook, each dish she created on the show was a small part of her, and she felt that it was not just the food being judged but herself too, which was, “nerve wracking!” The Adelaide resident is determined to further her career in food and engage people through cooking.
In her free time, Jessie is quite busy, “I am passionate about travel, design, art and of-course food! I love people watching and immersing myself in other cultures. Through food and art you can get a real insight into how others live and a sense of appreciation for that culture,” explains the graphic designer.
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