TURNING up the heat earned Tamara Graffen a second chance on MasterChef.
The Holy Spirit College graduate was eliminated from the reality cooking show last night but just 24 hours later she was back in her white apron after beating the other previously eliminated contestants for one coveted spot back in the competition.
"Getting that apron for the second time was even more special that getting it the first time," she told the Mercury.
"I felt a little behind the eight ball coming back in so quickly because I was still trying to process what had just happened.
"I felt pretty intimidated by the other contestants because they'd gone (home) and got all this amazing (work) experience with these incredible chefs."
In tonight's episode the eliminated cooks were challenged to create both savoury and sweet dishes showcasing the same hero ingredient.
Tamara chose chilies, which she first used to create prawn and chilli pot stickers with sticky chili sauce and chili oil.
But it was her improvised dessert - pineapple nougat with peanut chili brittle and chili caramel - which blew away the MasterChef judges.
"The chilies just spoke to me," she said.
"I love spicy food but it was definitely a risk as I only had a savoury dish in mind. I figured I'd worry about the dessert in the second round."
Matt Preston called the dish joyous, boisterous, delicious and memorable.
"I'd never made a dessert like that before, but when the chips are down and the pressure's on that's when you do your best," she said.
"Surviving those tough moments in the competition gives you more confidence and I want to make sure I don't waste the opportunity."
MasterChef continues tomorrow night at 7.30pm on Channel 10.
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