As MasterChef Australia hopeful Genene Dwyer prepares to celebrate her 50th birthday later this year, the aspiring chef reveals life hasn't always gone to plan.After meeting her husband, Andrew, 13 years ago, Genene became an instant stepmother to his three children – Isabella, Simon and Henry.
"It was a huge step," Genene recalls. "I'd lived the single life and had lived alone until then, so it was scary."
However, Genene knew she had to put aside her fears. Her feelings for Andrew were just too strong.
"A lot of my friends were like, 'Wow, I could never do that,'" the recruitment coordinator from Victoria explains. "But I just knew that if I wanted to be with Andrew, I had to take the whole package."
She adds: "And all these years later, the kids are great and they're so thrilled that I'm on MasterChef."
While Genene loves playing stepmum, the 49-year-old says she'd always wanted her own children too.
"It just didn't happen," she says. "And that's it."
Genene will celebrate the big 5-0 in October. And while the thought is terrifying for some people, she's keen to embrace it."I've never been worried about my age," she laughs. "I don't feel 50. It's just one of those numbers that everyone puts so much emphasis on."
Genene says winning the title of "Australian MasterChef" would simply be the icing on the cake.
"I actually got offered a position to go to the judges' audition last year," Genene reveals. "But I declined. So this year, I plan to go all the way."