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OK! exclusive: The Masterchef finalists share their favourite recipes

The hit cooking show's final four talk life post-finale and share their favourite dishes for you to serve up at home

By Carrissa Lawrie
We know they can serve up a five-star dish without cracking under the pressure.
But how will MasterChef Australia’s top four contenders – Diana Chan, Tamara Graffen, Karlie Verkerk and Ben Ungermann – handle the heat in the kitchen now they are just a few nail-biting cooks away from the finale?
There’s no doubt fans are in for a treat, especially given the foursome’s impressive track record for delivering mouth-watering meals!
Speaking to OK! before the tense showdown that lies ahead, the best of season nine’s home cooks reveal their plans for the future, and share their favourite recipes from the competition...

Karlie Verker, 26, NSW: Middle Eastern crispy eggplant

"I want to combine my passion for food and writing."
Copywriter Karlie is still pinching herself about being one of the last left standing.
"I honestly can't believe I've made it to the top four - I didn't even think I'd get through the judges' auditions," she tells OK!. "Making it to the top four reinforces to me that I made the right decision in leaving my job and applying for the show... Anything is possible!"
Karlie whipped up a delicious Middle Eastern crispy eggplant dish in a Mystery Box round.
But don’t expect to see this standout cooking up a storm for a living after the show.
"I made it clear from the beginning of the competition that I didn't want to be a chef, and I still don't. I want to combine my two passions: food and writing," she shares.
The show has shown Karlie that "anything is possible".

Ben Ungerman, 32, Qld: Lamb sumac with smoked eggplant and tahini puree

"I’d love to bring out a cookbook."
Taking out the MasterChef Australia title and $250,000 prize money would be life-changing for the father-of-three, who made numerous sacrifices to go on the show.
"I left my family, my kids, my job and my home to put it all on the line to follow my dream. It was a massive risk, but I know they are so proud of me, which means the world," he tells OK!.
Ben describes the lamb sumac with smoked eggplant and tahini puree he created for a Mystery Box round as "simple but delicious".
The former model and retail manager is planning on making the most of his newfound fame and isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
"After Masterchef, I would really love to have my own television show where I can educate Australians on the beautiful native ingredients we have here in this country," he says. "I’d also love to bring out a cookbook that celebrates my Dutch roots and bring out a gourmet ice cream range."
Busy man!
He looks good on the screen... So it's no wonder Ben wants to have his own show!

Tamara, 28, WA: Baklava toffee apple

"I'm going to open a boutique café!"
Will it be back to Broome for bubbly contender Tamara after the competition? Not likely!
"After the show I plan to move to Melbourne, get more work experience in the industry and continue plans to open my boutique café where I can have pastries, a simple menu and sell handmade crafts too," she reveals to OK!.
Tamara took her Invention Test next-level with her tasty baklava toffee apple treat.
"I'd love to design a range of plateware and earrings (you might have noticed I'm a bit of a fan of some fun on the earlobes) and also find a way to share fun, simple and delicious recipes with people to inspire them to turn the ordinary into extraordinary at home."
Having re-entered the competition after being eliminated in early June, Tamara knows that nothing is impossible and is grateful for her time on the show. "I've truly found my passion in food through MasterChef and I can't wait to get started and share it with other people," she says.
"I've truly found my passion in food through MasterChef," says Tamara.
Treat yourself to Tamara’s baklava toffee apple!

Diana, 29, Vic: Rosewater ice-cream with strawberries and cream

"I am ever more driven to go all the way," Diana reveals.
According to her three rivals, accountant Diana is the one to beat - and the Malaysian-born cook isn’t about to back down now that the finish line is in sight!
"I am ever more driven to go all the way. Knowing that I have come this far in the competition only makes me want to achieve it more and more each day," she shares.
Diana used the Invention Test to put a deliciously decadent spin on simple strawberries and cream with rosewater ice-cream.
And fans of the talented home cook will be happy to know that we could soon be making reservations at Diana’s very own nosh spot very soon!
"Winning Masterchef would help me achieve my passion of opening a fresh casual restaurant serving wholesome fusion food a lot sooner," she spills.
Diana is "the one to beat", say her fellow competitors!

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