In third place for this year’s MasterChef Australia competition is Samira El Khafir, and we spoke with her this morning about reaching the finale and how $10,000 in prize money will change her life.
Q: How are you feeling now that the MasterChef finale has finally gone to air?
It was a bit overwhelming watching it myself, but now is sunk in and I can’t complain – top three! I never expected that.
Q: When we spoke a few weeks ago, when you were originally eliminated and re-joined the comp in Comeback Week, you mentioned you considered not returning at all! Are you glad you did now?
Yes, I’m so happy my husband pushed me to go back, I was a bit paranoid and anxious about leaving again. But it just made me more determined to knock the paranoia out of me, to get rid of the anxiety and work hard at what I believed in. And I can’t believe the result.
Q: How does it feel to reach the finale and walk away with third place – any regrets about how you cooked on the night?
No, not at all. I cooked with passion and love, I gave it everything. Honestly, who doesn’t want to win? But I can’t be upset with the result – top three is amazing and so many people would dream to be in that position. And one of my main struggles throughout the competition was, after suffering with postnatal depression, I had the issue of fear of failure. I feel I’ve kind of overcome it because I’ve proven to myself and to others that as much as you have that deep secret of depression, these issues inside you that make you want to crawl away and hide, you can go out and do something and succeed.
Q: How will the prize money change your life, and what’s coming up next for you?
I got quite emotional when I found out about the prize money! Everything has changed now. I’m working on having my own café, which will be opening in February. We’ll be doing one night dinner service each week. And I’m speaking with PANDA (Post and Antenatal Depression Association) about becoming an ambassador to create more awareness and that you can overcome it.