“You could literally cut the tension with a butter knife,” Pham revealed to The Latch, after being asked what the energy was like in the kitchen.
“You could feel it from the people upstairs as well. After I finish a cook, I usually look up to the gantry and chat with them.
“But I couldn’t even look up. I just looked straight ahead and my mind was like, ‘don’t look up because you’re going to cry’.”
Both cooks naturally gravitate towards Asian food, with Pham being an expert in Vietnamese cooking and Quah leaning more towards Malaysian. It didn’t help that the pair are great friends both in and out of the kitchen, so the entire round felt like Sophie’s Choice.
“Alvin and I have a special connection. None of us wants to see the other person leave but we know that at the end of the day, someone’s going home,” said Pham.
“It makes the cook 10 times harder, just knowing that you’re up against somebody you really like.”
Pham was first introduced to MasterChef Australia viewers last year, and quickly won the hearts of everyone watching. His departure the second time around was even more devastating than the first and was something he did not expect.
“Just before this elimination I had been on an upwards trajectory,” he recalled. “Every single cook I had been doing the right thing and getting so much praise from the judges.
“I thought, ‘wow, I could go really far’ because I kept getting Dish of the Day over and over again.
“And then, it just happened so quickly, from so high, I went straight down and that’s what made it hurt a little bit more.”
However, while Pham’s time in the MasterChef kitchen is over, his personal life is really starting to speed up. Last night, he revealed that he and his partner are expecting another child, and will soon become a family of six.
Pham and his partner are already parents to their two-year-old son, Miles, and two dogs.
“I’m terrified of having a family of six. So I don’t know how we’re going to survive, but I think we’ll get there somehow!”
As for what’s up next, Pham is currently focusing on his growing family but has plans on opening pop-up stalls in the near future.
“The biggest thing for me right now is figuring out how I’m going to work with this family situation, and making sure I get that all sorted,” he said.
“Then, I’d love to do a pop-up — I did one after last season but it was during lockdown and I could only do deliveries. So, doing a pop-up in a market when I can see people enjoying the food would be amazing.”
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