Going to London for high tea with celebrity cook Nigella Lawson was the "experience of a lifetime" for MasterChef Australia's Kristen Sheffield.
Kristen, who won the trip in a mystery box challenge, met up with Nigella at the legendary store Fortnum & Mason.
"She's so lovely and down-to- earth and makes you feel really comfortable," Kristen, 27, tells TV WEEK after returning from the UK.
"It was awesome to just sit and talk about everything – and how amazing the scotch eggs were."
Kristen, an urban planner from Adelaide, opened up about her dream of working in food.
"Nigella said I knew flavours well and to follow what makes me happy," Kristen explains.
Nigella, 58, says she enjoyed catching up with Kristen again.
"It was a pleasure to see her being so open and excited about the food she's been making, and everything she's learnt," she says.
"It was obviously clear to me what a gifted cook Kristen was, but some of her shyness and hesitancy has fallen away. She's truly blossomed on MasterChef."
Nigella had plenty of praise for the contestant, calling her winning dish 'utterly exquisite.'
"The flavours and textures were perfectly balanced; it had real depth, but delicacy at the same time," Nigella reveals. "It just zinged! And I'm looking forward to the recipe. I think we all are!"
Of her parting words to Kristen, the famous chef says she encouraged her to keep trying new things.
"I certainly told her how important it is for her to keep cooking the food she loves," says Nigella.
"Of course, she must take risks, but it's essential she stays true to who she is. I think she really knows that though: she truly loves cooking and that is precious beyond words."
MasterChef Australia airs Monday to Thursday, and Sunday, 7:30pm on Network Ten.