The Victorian-based lawyer, who consistently impressed with her rustic Italian meals infused with Australian native ingredients, sadly didn’t quite hit the mark with her lentil agrodolce and pine mushrooms, venison, blackberries, beetroot and herb oil and pistachio semifreddo.
Speaking to The Latch following her elimination, Pulbrook said that she was proud of her achievements on the cooking show and that she had developed her own style by learning how to use ingredients from other cultures and cuisines in order to step outside of the box.
The Dish She Was Most Proud Of
“I think I’m most proud of the tiramisu I made for our fine dining challenge at Uluru. I’m so grateful to have cooked in that setting, it was quite a profound experience to be somewhere with such tremendous energy and to be able to feel grounded and cook something that was so well received.
“So I’m very proud of that and that solidified to me as well that Italian cooking can be so flexible. It really is a style of cooking that can incorporate seasonal and regionality, regardless of where in the world you might be. And that’s a very special new ideation, I think.”
The Chef She Admires Most
“There’s actually an Italian chef named Cristina Bowerman. She studied law at a top tier law school in the US before becoming a chef, and she is now a Michelin star chef in Rome.
“She went into cooking later in life. And she’s not only someone who cooks within the restaurant setting, but she’s also an advocate for our food system, and eating locally and paying attention to where our food comes from. She’s someone that I have a massive, massive amount of respect for.”
How Lawyer Life Prepared Her for ‘MasterChef Australia’
“I am a lover of strategy and I approached preparing for the competition by making notes that were very similarly formatted to my law school exam notes, with a booklet that has sections with different types of recipes to memorise or product sections, a history book, staple ingredients — it became quite a comprehensive booklet throughout the competition.
“But, I’m not sure it was the best approach because the MasterChef kitchen is nothing like a law exam! However, my nerves were very similar to how I would feel walking into a law exam and if I was feeling a bit more in touch with the fact that I was just cooking and feeding people rather than about to be scored and graded, I might have evaded the pressure on the competition a little bit.”
Staying Friendly When the Judges Stop By
“Look, it’s hard, it’s hard. And what I realised my biggest learning curve has been acknowledging that where I love to cook is away from people standing in front of you telling you that you have ten minutes to go.
“I like cooking slowly, in a meditative way. And I love making food that nourishes people. Where my prerogative is, is connecting with nature and eating with people sitting, down with them. So the competition is a very, very distant experience to what I love most about food.”
Where to Next?
“Prior to COVID, my dream was to go and study a master’s of food law in Italy. Now, I can’t really do that, but I’m not sure I really need to pursue that academic path.
“Now I’ve got a bit of a platform where I can advocate for our food systems and paying attention to where our food comes from. And if it means doing that via cooking and pop up menus that communicate meaning, I want to do some of that.
“I love research, I love looking into what is going on in our food systems. There’s a lot that I’m open to in terms of that and I don’t want to limit myself. I’d love to do a pop-up with Scotty and Sabina — they are people that I absolutely adore.
“And I’m talking to some chefs here in Victoria down in Mornington, Killmore and Daylesford about pop-ups that could happen in and around those areas. So it’s just a matter of getting the wheels in motion and creating beautiful menus with Victorian produce.”
Who Will Take Home the Top Prize?
“I feel like Pete is the most prepared in terms of having gone through the most stressful cooks in the competition — he found himself in more eliminations and more pressure tests than the other two.
“But I hope Kish wins. I really respect Kishwars’s approach to cooking. She really cares about where her food comes from and about the provenance of the food and the cultural connections that food has.
“And I just want to wish Kishwar the best of luck and girl power all the way!.”
You can follow Elise’s food journey at @elise_foodperson. MasterChef Australia continues tonight at 7:30pm and be sure to watch the 2021 finale tomorrow night on Tuesday 13 July at 7.30pm on Network Ten and 10Play.