Diana Chan is the MasterChef Australia 2017 winner.
Diana beat fellow finalist Ben Ungermann by just one point, securing victory with a grand total of 90.
While she was thrilled with her win, an exhausted Diana says the intensity of the competition saw her laid low with illness after the finale.
The day after filming the MasterChef Australia 2017 grand finale – which saw her walk away the victor with a $250,000 cash prize and a column in Delicious magazine – Diana Chan said she physically collapsed.
“I was sick for the two weeks afterwards, I was absolutely crook,” she tells TV WEEK. “That whole finale week was so intense and go, go, go.”
With the final cook-off between Diana and runner-up Ben Ungermann taking over eight hours to film, it’s no wonder the talented chef was exhausted.
But, she says, the adrenaline took over on the day itself, with the day feeling like a mere half hour had passed.
And even though she knew she had the early lead she says the nerves never left her until she heard that final score.
“Ben was a really tough competitor to go up against and I knew how hard he’d work to get there,” she says. “If I thought I was working hard, I knew he would be working twice as hard.”
With the prize money now in her hand, Diana says she’s ready to take a break before she makes any firm plans as to what to do with her immediate food future.
“Firstly I’d like to take a holiday, sit on a beach somewhere and drink a hundred cocktails,” she laughs.
“But I’ve had some amazing opportunities that have presented themselves in the past few weeks and I’ve been working on setting myself up. Ultimately my goal is to opening the fresh casual restaurant but I’ve also got an opportunity to promote tourism in Malaysia which is something for me to figure out in the next few weeks.”
Diana’s also hoping to set some time aside for a charity close to her heart.
Her partner Tim and a number of close friends have struggled with depression – and , she says, several friends have passed away in the past year or two – and she plans to cook some dinners to raise funds for Beyond Blue.
“It’s something I hold very dear to my heart so if I can raise awareness and money I want to be able to do that,” she says.