Julia Taylor was the runner-up in the MasterChef finale.
Julia Taylor was the runner-up in the MasterChef finale. Contributed

Julia stands heat in MasterChef

MASTERCHEF fans in Gladstone were glued to the television show's finale this week to cheer on Julia Taylor.

Before she became a legal secretary in Brisbane, the 26-year-old gourmet and season four runner-up lived in the Gladstone region attending a local high school.

After a day brimming with media appearances, Julia had almost lost her voice by the time The Observer spoke with her yesterday, but she showed the tenacity that got her through to the final round on Wednesday night and powered through to share her excitement.

"I was so happy to make it to the final six let alone come second," she said

"I'm just over the moon."

Getting to the final wasn't an easy process.

The series premiered on May 6 with hundreds of contestants vying for a place in the top 50.

Julia then had to battle through weeks of challenges with the contestants cooking in Tasmania and Italy, while meeting Jamie Oliver and Marco Pierre White along the way.

The melting moments recipe shown on television was Julia's favourite from the show because of the response it got from people and its accessibility.

"It was amazing walking down the street and having five and seven-year-old girls coming up to you saying that it was their favourite recipe and they had made it themselves," she said.

Julia starting cooking at eight years old when she made her first dish of chocolate profiteroles and has made the decision to follow her passion for food full-time.

"There are a number of amazing restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne that I would love to gain work experience in," she said.

As for the internship offer from Adriano Zumbo, Julia says she will be taking him up on the offer but it is a matter of working out logistics as it would mean moving to Sydney.

Julia said she wasn't sure when she'd be back in Gladstone but was sure she'd be visiting her family in Tannum Sands at some point.


Prize pool

Winner: Andy Allen won $100,000, a book deal and a chance to gain work experience in some of Australia's top restaurants.

Runner-up: Julia Taylor won $15,000 from American Express and was additionally offered a paid internship with Adriano Zumbo.

Third prize: Audra Morrice won $5000.

Fast facts

Season: This was the fourth season of MasterChef

Judges: Chef Gary Mehigan, chef George Calombaris and food critic Matt Preston serve as the show's main judges.

Audience: The winner's announcement had an average national audience of 2.9 million and peaked around 3.5 million

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