Brett's food dream still brewing after early MasterChef exit
NO ONE wants to be the first person sent home from MasterChef, but Brett McGrath left the reality show with his head held high tonight.
The Noosa coffee roaster was eliminated after burnt chickpeas let down his crispy-skinned salmon with carrot puree and mint - only the second dish he had plated up in the MasterChef kitchen.
The meal was made up entirely of ingredients found in his fridge, which the show's producers transported from Noosa to Melbourne for the challenge.
"I must have the crappiest fridge in Queensland and they've brought it all the way down here to be on national TV," he said.
The 29-year-old also opened up on the show about how food helped him overcome a drinking problem.
"I was a wreck-in-the-gutter alcoholic. I lost my job... and one of the things that got me out of the gutter was food," he said.
Pledging to no longer waste time being "lacklustre at life", Brett has completed work experience at Noosa eateries Wasabi and Locale as well as working alongside Matt Sinclair at Sum Yung Guys since his elimination.
He told the Daily his long-term dream of opening his own cooking school is still on the cards, but for now he's back at home working with what he knows: coffee.
"I've been working for the Ogilvie Group at Aromas modernising their coffee trade," he said.
"I love their ethos as they have a farm where a majority of the produce is grown in Noosa. The chefs are amazing, the food is incredible and the chefs are always up for getting into discussions about the future of food and pasture to plate ideas."
So what, in Brett's expert opinion, makes for a good coffee?
"When I'm training a barista I usually start by saying that there is a thousands of steps from plant to cup and every time you take short cuts or skip a step you compromise on quality," he said.
"Ultimately the beans have to be roasted correctly... then when it comes to the brew, the machine needs to be set to the right pressure and temperature, beans are always ground to order for each cup and each shot should be weighed before extraction to ensure consistency. Always use a good local milk as well. There is so much science involved but also a certain amount of intuition that you pick up along the way."
MasterChef airs Sundays to Thursdays at 7.30pm on Channel 10.