Masterchef

MasterChef's Heston Blumenthal reveals he'll always have a soft spot for Australia

'Australia is my second home!'

British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal has only one eatery outside the UK – in Melbourne. And that's not just coincidence.

"Australia has become a second home to me," Heston tells TV WEEK. "When it came time to open a second Dinner By Heston Blumenthal restaurant, it was an easy decision to choose Australia."

The 52-year-old, who's famous for his scientific approach to food, says it's our world-class culinary scene that keeps him coming back – for business and pleasure.

"The team in Melbourne have truly enjoyed the people, culture and how much of a foodie culture Australia has," he says.

Heston's ties down under extend beyond his restaurant. A friend of MasterChef Australia for nine years, he's back to put this year's finalists to the ultimate test.

"I'm really impressed with the last two contestants," Heston says. "They both really embraced the challenge I gave them. A fantastic finale!

"It's a very positive show, that brings out the best in the contestants and builds them up rather than puts them down."

The contestants Heston refers to are, of course, winner Sashi Cheliah and runner-up Ben Borsht. The pair competed in the 2018 Grand Finale on Tuesday night, where they were tasked with re-creating Heston's impressive counting sheep dessert.

The dish consisted of light malt meringue pillows with milk ice cream inside, to replicate the lightness you feel before you fall asleep. It was also made up of coconut ice-cream, steamed sponge, panna cotta, lychee gel, earl grey caramel, coriander yoghurt and yoghurt snow.

Sashi wins *MasterChef Australia* 2018.
Sashi wins MasterChef Australia 2018.

And what does nice-guy Heston have to say about any competition among the likes of fellow UK chefs Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver?

"I don't think any of us are comparable, as we all have our own areas and expertise," he says. "This is what makes gastronomy interesting.

"It's great that we have so many successful chefs in the UK."

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