Heading back into the MasterChef kitchen for the second time, Sarah Todd says the feeling is a lot like being inside a pressure cooker.
"I had forgotten what an intense situation it is," she confesses to Woman's Day.
"I really went through a lot of scenarios about coming back because in your restaurants, you've got all your dishes set and going well and then you think, 'Oh my god, am I really going to go back and get judged again?'"
Since appearing on season six in 2014, Sarah, 34, has become a celebrity chef in her own right – penning two successful cookbooks, starring in several reality shows and opening three restaurants in India.
Despite her success and her impressive list of achievements, Sarah still found herself returning to that mindset that she initially felt when she first entered the MasterChef kitchen as an amateur chef.
"I still had to do a lot of work on myself to learn to not take it so personally because in the competition, you do take it so personally. And going up against the likes of Julie [Goodwin], Mindy [Woods], and Sashi [Cheliah] is so daunting as they've all done such incredible things – but I'm excited to show not only what I've learned about Indian cuisine, but also how I've grown as a person. I'm so excited to be back."
Sarah admits that Phoenix, her 11-year-old son, was also a huge deciding factor for her to don the black apron again.
"He was only two years old the first time I was on the show, so I really wanted to take him through that experience with me. It's going to be really special," she says.
But breaking the news to perhaps her biggest fan was still daunting.
"I told him that it was going to be a big time commitment for me, and I'd be on the television but he said, 'If I were you, then I would do it, but you have to do it if it makes you happy,' and I was like, 'Oh my god, that's so cute,'" she gushes.
"He's told all of his friends at school and they're all getting behind it – he's really excited now."
Sarah reveals that she potentially sees another MasterChef in her family, with Phoenix taking to the kitchen like a duck to water.
"He loves cooking. He used to make paratas [a Bangladeshi flatbread] with his grandma so we love making those every Sunday and he's mastered the poached egg," she adds.
"He also comes to India with me, so I'm making sure he's soaking up that culture over there."
While Sarah and Phoenix split their time between Australia and India – where she still runs her hugely successful restaurant Antares in Goa – her aim is to fulfil her dream of opening a restaurant here.
"My goal when I was first on MasterChef was to open an Indian-inspired restaurant in Australia, but I instead opened up an Australian-inspired restaurant in India," she laughs.
"The universe works in mysterious ways, but I would love nothing more than to fulfil that first dream. Bring it on."
MasterChef: Fans & Favourites premieres Monday, April 18, 7.30pm, Ten