Christina Batista, a stay-at-home mum from NSW, is the first contestant to drop out of this year’s MasterChef finals week. We spoke with her today about her time on the hit show.
Q: Tell us what MasterChef was like for you.
I had a great time on the show, despite the ups and the downs and the constant crying! It was an amazing experience, you don’t realise how great until it happens to you. I remember watching the show in previous seasons, and hearing the contestants talking about how great it is and the friendships they’d made – and now I’ve experienced it for myself and it is amazing. And it’s hard to describe how great it actually was.
Q: Do you have a highlight and lowlight that really stand out?
Flying business class to Dubai when everyone else was in economy was kind of cool! I’ll never get to do that again. The highlight was the family visit. Being able to share the MasterChef experience with my family, and then having my son open those doors and my daughter run into my arms – that for me was the best moment. The worst was saying goodbye to them at the end of the day – it didn’t feel like long enough. But it was great overall. I look back with fond memories. The hard bits made the good bits that much better.
Q: How do you feel about going home after getting so close to the final?
I’ve been home for a couple of weeks now and have gone away with the family, and reconnected with everyone. That elimination challenge, I got to work with Matt Stone again and I wanted to show him how much I had improved since the live marron incident! I talked to him afterwards and he told me how much improvement he had seen in me – I was organised and focussed, and he was impressed with how much I had grown as a cook. That was great to hear.
Q: What’s next for you?
Last night I launched my website, www.christinabatista.com.au. That’s going to have reviews and recipes and blogs, and people can log on and see what I’m up to. In November I’m doing a charity dinner with Faiza, for the Olive Children’s Foundation. This weekend I’m speaking at a marriage equality rally in Manly. And I have an appearance coming up with Vern and Nicky at the Crown Casino in Perth. So lots of things coming up.
Q: Who would you like to win MasterChef?
I’d be over the moon if it came down to Rishi or Samira. They’re both great cooks and they’ve both come a really long way in the competition. If I had to pick one out of the two, it would be Rishi. He was my favourite person in the house. He’s a great guy and an amazing cook – he works like a machine in the kitchen.
Q: What three words best describe the MasterChef kitchen?
Amazing. Emotional. Exceptional.