Brent Owens, 24, has won MasterChef Australia for 2014.
He defeated Laura Cassai, 19, and wins $250,000, a book publishing deal and a new car.
Brent, a bobcat driver from Victoria, scored 83 points over the 80 accrued by Laura, a Health Science student from South Australia.
“I can’t believe it!” he said.
“Thanks for pushing me every single day,” he told the judges. “Every time I went into that kitchen it was the three of you that made me get better.”
He also thanked his other teammates for their knowledge “and just being there for support” as well thanking Laura who is “always smiling, always happy.”
“I’ve got so many plans. Ultimately I want my own café and a line of food products. I’m very keen to give back to the community; I’ve already started working with disadvantaged youth and will be using food to make a difference in their lives, as it has in mine,” he said later.
The first round involved an empty Mystery Box with both contestants selecting 3 ingredients each for an entree dish. Disaster always strikes in any cook-off, but the last thing Laura needed was burning her hand in the grand final. Despite the setback, there seemed to be little mention of it again.
Laura: Grilled Scampi 9 / 8 / 8 = 25
Brent: Textures of Pearl Barley 9 / 9 / 9 = 27
For round two, 3 family members became guest of honours at a chef’s table. The challenge cleverly brought emotion to the night. Brent managed to burn multiple dishes.
Laura: Lobster and Scallops 8 / 8 / 8 = 24 (49 points)
Brent: Lancashire Hotpot 7 / 7 / 7 = 21 (48 points)
The final test saw chef Peter Gilmore return with another devious dish “twice as hard as the snow egg, at least.” It was a 39 step Chocolate Ethereal. But Laura misread her recipe wasting 45 minutes of her dish and had trouble tempering her chocolate, while her final presentation lacked the finesse of Gilmore’s original.
Laura: 8 / 8 / 8 / 7 = 31 (80 points)
Brent: 8 / 9 / 9 / 9 = 35 (83 points)
The final announcement included former champions and chefs outside the MasterChef kitchen.
As runner up Laura won $20,000 prize, with Emelia taking $10,000.