After several months of gruelling service challenges, inspired reinvention tests and stressful pressure tests, only three MasterChef Professionals remain in the kitchen. This Sunday Rhys, Sarah and Rhett will cook for the title of Australia's first Professional MasterChef and to have the opportunity of winning a trip around the globe where they'll talk food with some of the world's foremost chefs.
It's been a rollercoaster ride for the contestants who come from quite different culinary backgrounds. Rhett grew up in Queensland, lived in Sydney but moved back to Brisbane where he now works as Head Chef at Jellyfish Restaurant on Eagle Street Pier. Rhys, on the other hand, divides his time between Byron Bay and Broome, where he's the private chef on the Kimberley Quest 11, a luxury charter boat that takes enthusiasts up the rugged Western Australian coast to Wyndham. Sarah grew up on the New South Wales southern coast but is now based in the Harbour City where she prepares meals for an eager Sydney crowd. Prior to her return to Australia, she worked on a 70 metre super yacht called Apoise, which sailed around the Mediterranean, including the Italian Amalfi coast, the south of France and Spain.
Flight Centre sat down with the three finalists to hear the low down on their favourite places to eat, to holiday and to chill.
Favourite Aussie Restaurant?
Rhett - At the moment, I'm into my Asian Foods. So I love Chin Chin in Flinders Lane, Melbourne. They do a spicy duck liver salad; it's ridiculously hot but awesome. I also like those gems you find in many Chinatown's around Australia such as Thai Mi-Rat in Fortitude Valley - they do great larps.
Rhys - Cape Lodge Restaurant in Margaret River; the menu changes regularly but it's always top quality. Also, at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast, Justin Lane Pizzeria & Bar do an incredible Seafood Pizza that's off the chain.
Sarah - There's a place in Alexandria called The Ground, which is really quite cool. They grow their own herbs and collect eggs from their chickens. It's great to walk around the garden and see all the citrus trees. It's something that I'd like to have - a kitchen garden. I want a property on the south coast of NSW and have little piggies running around.
Favourite Cuisine to Eat?
Rhett - When I was in Thailand, the street food was a stand out. The Som Tum was phenomenal.
Rhys - On my surfing trips to Bali, I love eating the chicken satays from the street vendors.
Sarah - I spent four months in the Caribbean and that's the atmosphere I love; sitting on the beach and eating the barbecue meats facing the ocean.
Favourite Cuisine to Cook?
Rhett - I enjoy cooking breakfast for my fiancé and I. You can't go past poached eggs or eggs Benedict.
Rhys - Definitely Asian cuisines including Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese.
Sarah - I love French food; I like the classical techniques. I love all the bread in France and the cheese is really good but, in a particular, I had the opportunity of preparing Foie Gras Terrine while I was there.
Dream International Culinary Experience?
Rhett - Vietnam. Thai food seems to be preferred in Australia. But I want to go to Vietnam. I regularly go to the Vietnamese markets in Darra, Brisbane for the herbs.
Rhys - I'm fan of Mexican food so I'd do a food and surfing trip to Mexico. The variety, the freshness; it's awesome.
Sarah - I'd really love to go to Turkey and Morocco. I'm really good friends with Akuc from the show and I go to her place where the food completely blows me away. I don't know a lot about Middle Eastern/North Africa food but I'd love to travel around there to learn about it.
Favourite Place To Chill?
Rhett - I do a lot of fishing. I go out onto Moreton Bay; there's Tuna, Mackerel and Jewfish. I love Moreton Island and also Straddie.
Rhys - If I don't get to go surfing I lose my mind. It's a tough call but my favourite beach in Australia is Point Piquet near Dunsborough in Western Australia. It has Tahiti blue water and amazing white sand. Meelup Beach is also special.
Sarah - If I have a busy week at work and I want to get away, I just head down to Jervis Bay. I also really like Noosa.