Masterchef

EXCLUSIVE: Eliminated MasterChef contestant Chris says he's a bit embarrassed to say he met wife Julia on the show

''I say we met on a plane because it's technically correct.''

By Alex Lilly
Chris Badenoch made it to the final three in the first ever season of MasterChef Australia, but unfortunately wasn't able to get as far this season.
The Perth chef has a lot to thank the show for, including introducing him to his wife Julia Jenkins, whom he met on season one.
Here he speaks to Now To Love about his seven-year marriage, plus why he's not eating and cooking as much meat as he did a few years back.
Now To Love: You admitted the reason you lost this challenge was because you don't order takeaway. Is that true?
Chris: Nobody believes me! It worries me that so many people don't cook. So many of the MasterChef contestants get takeaway regularly and that kind of weirds me out. They cook so much all the time, they must have a fridge full of leftovers constantly.
It's also the issue of waste for me, they said one in two households get takeaway delivered every day. Can you imagine the mountain of plastic containers that would generate? I find that quite disturbing and we really should be cutting back on this. It's so much nicer to just go down to a local restaurant and eat. I know we can't do that now but why would you get a burger delivered?
"It worries me that so many people don't cook," Chris says of the number of Aussies ordering takeaway on the regular. (Image: Network Ten)
You made a delicious looking vegetarian curry for your final dish, but seeing as you're renowned for cooking all sorts of meat, have you had lots of fans asking about that?
Yeah I've been getting messages going 'What the hell?' It's kind of ironic that I got eliminated on a vegetarian dish but this meat-focus thing that's going on, especially with barbecue is a little crazy and I think you've got to cook a lot more veg.
It's more responsible for your health and the environment and since being married to Julia we've gone to the veg side of things a lot more often. We still eat meat but we eat small amounts of really good quality - we'll share a chicken breast or thigh or a duck breast or something rather than eat the whole thing ourselves and go hard on the veg. If you put veg on the barbecue or the hibachi grill, the flavours are phenomenal.
WATCH BELOW: Everything you need to know about the flexitarian diet. Post continues after video...
You looked very calm in that challenge, did you expect to be the one eliminated?
I did think Tracey was going to go because she was second-guessing herself so much. She didn't seem to be very confident and was changing her mind all the time and sometimes that can throw you. But also, sometimes that's what they love and she struggled all the way through and then pulled out a dish so it makes a great story. My problem is I don't stress out, I probably make boring TV but I'm just getting on with it!
Everyone seems really friendly on the show but a lot of contestants have admitted it's a lot harder this time. Do you agree?
So bloody hard it's ridiculous- it's brutal. Everybody is so trashed at the end of a challenge because you've got to bring your A-game every single time. Dani went home for an egg that was runny rather than gooey and that's the kind of crap people that are going home for, or it needs another pinch of salt.
Everybody's totally stressed about doing the best they can and that pressure takes its toll. Yes it's a cooking show but there are so many aspects you've got to consider - you've got to hold your nerve, you've got to be creative, you've got to weigh up the judges every time, you've got to get the seasoning right. There's a lot more to it than just putting a plate of food up so the pressure's enormous. But of course everyone wants to win.
Chris admits the pressure of the show was "brutal." (Image: Network Ten)
Now that you're out, who would you love to see win this season?
There's a few people. For me it's about the food but it's also about the philosophy and who would make a great brand ambassador. Simon isn't a vegetarian but he's very vegetable-focused and what he teaches people about that, I think that would be a wonderful thing for the winner to have.
Sarah Tiong's food is phenomenal, she's so creative and well-rounded. Emilia's probably the best pastry chef in the whole competition by a mile and she's good at savoury and she's a great person. She's got a wicked sense of humour and my god she's talented. She doesn't get fazed - she gets in there and smashes it out.
Chris thinks the winner has to be a good brand ambassador. (Image: Network Ten)
You and your wife Julia also met on the set of season one of MasterChef 12 years ago.
I'm a bit embarrassed to say how we met, I say we met on a plane because it's technically correct. But yeah we did season one together and we got along very well and stayed friends afterwards and then we both became single. And now we've been married for seven years so there you go!
How's married life going in isolation?
Well she works at the Black Pig Deli here and they're very busy at the moment so she's off to work every day doing that and I work from home mainly so it's hardly very different to me. I see everyone freaking out but all I've noticed is less traffic, it's great!
But I've started this thing called Bad Harvie with Aaron Harvie from series two (we've become very good friends) where he writes and I illustrate. We had a drunken night at his place a few years ago where I said 'I've got an idea for a story, how would you feel about writing it?' and so we started writing and illustrating graphic novels.
That's keeping us incredibly busy, which is great for this isolation time seeing as the food industry is on its knees. A lot of the MasterChef guys are struggling because they make their money from demos and there's none of that, or they own their own restaurants and they're pretty much all closed. It'll be interesting to see how we come out of this.
Chris and wife Julia, whom he met on season one, married in 2013. (Image: Instagram @julia_jenkins)

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