Emelia Jackson has been crowned the winner of MasterChef Australia’s Back To Win season!
Emelia faced off against her best mate and childhood friend Laura Sharrad in the nail-biting grand finale on Monday night, with the pair fighting neck-and-neck throughout the entire episode.
They were each give four hours to cook a three-course meal for the show’s judges Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen, as well as their fellow contestants, who were eliminated earlier on in the series.
But with both chefs serving up near flawless entrees and mains, the battle came down to dessert.
And while the judges thought Laura’s jerusalem artichoke and kumquat dessert tasted amazing, the texture of both her ice cream and chocolate crumb were slightly off.
“It feels a bit icy,” judge Melissa said of Laura’s ice cream.Andy added: “There’s a couple of things that for me haven’t gone right.
The texture of that ice cream is icy. I’m sure that Laura wouldn’t want it like that. I also didn’t dig the texture of the chocolate crumb.
“Jock also said: “It’s unfortunate because the flavours are fantastic.
“Meanwhile, pastry queen Emelia served up a flawless dessert, consisting of a pistachio cake with a Davidson plum and raspberry sorbet and meringue.
“There’s an elegance to a dessert like this,” Andy said, while he raved about Emelia’s ice cream.
“The balance was perfect. That raspberry sorbet needs to be sold somewhere!” he said.
While Laura admitted she was “gutted” to come second again and miss out on the whopping $250,000 in prize money, she did win $30,000 to put towards her pasta restaurant Nido Bar in Adelaide, which she runs with husband Max Sharrad.
Third-place-getter Reynold Poernomo also received a $20,000 cash prize.
Despite being fierce rivals in the MasterChef kitchen, Laura and Emelia are actually best friends behind the scenes.
Although they previously faced off against each other during MasterChef season six in 2014, with Emelia coming in third and Laura second, they actually met each other years beforehand.In fact, they’ve known each other since they were little girls in primary school.
“Emelia’s mum taught me at primary school,” Laura told TV WEEK last month.
“I’m five years younger than Mils, but my first memory of her is in the school playground.
“Emelia says she has a “photographic memory” and can still clearly remember Laura as well, in her “little school uniform”.
They later attended high school together, albeit in separate years, at Siena College, an all-girls Catholic high school in Melbourne.
Both Laura and Emelia say they are closer than ever – and the competition won’t ruin their friendship.
“I think it’s so important to have a friend like Laura in the competition,” Emelia previously told TV WEEK.
Laura also added: “This competition will never come between us.
“Just prior to the finale, Emelia was the bookies’ favourite at $1.30 and Laura was at $3.25.