MasterChef's Genene Has No Regrets Whatsoever
The recently eliminated contestant also opened up about her future plans and love of bottling preserves.
"I'm not a front and centre person," Genene Dwyer told ten daily when we caught up with her after her elimination from the MasterChef kitchen.
"I don't love the limelight, which sounds bizarre because I put myself in this reality cooking show that millions of people watch," she added.
Genene's time in the competition came to an end during the pressure test when the challenge to recreate Brendan Wessels' lemon meringue pie included a tricky 3D-printed element.
But it was never the eliminations that Genene was truly stressed about. "If it was me that went home, it was me that went home," she said, "There was nothing I could do about it".
"Every time I went into the cook I was so nervous, but once I got in it came to me straight away every time. I actually enjoyed it then."
While some of the contestants have aims to use the competition to catapult them into the food industry the 49-year-old spoke to her curious nature leading her to audition.
"Once I got an apron I said to my husband, 'I have to go as far as I can go'. I'm actually shocked I got to where I did, but it was never anything more than out of curiosity."
Describing her cooking as simple ("I don't think you can do simple food unless it's done well") Genene was embarrassed when she was recognised on the street. She even had to start a second Instagram for her time on the show.
"I've always been an Instagrammer," she explained, "but there's never any photos of me it's always food. It's never been about getting followers it's just been about sharing my food with the world."
As well as sharing her food, and her love of simple dishes, Genene is big on food waste -- she's a huge fan of bottling produce.
"I like the idea of 'Branch to Bottle'," she said, "For one there's no waste. I think food waste is a huge problem and I hate it," she added describing herself and fellow contestant Reece Hignell as the self-designated garbage gurus in the MasterChef house.
"They had recycling and food waste bins and we'd make sure everyone was using the right bins!" she said, adding that at home the scraps go to the worm farm.
"Bottling is also therapeutic, and you end up with a cupboard full of beautiful produce that lasts. They're things you can save and give as gifts."
When friends and family have excess fruits and vegetables Genene takes them and figures out some way to preserve them before returning the produce.
"I'm always telling people to save their jars," she laughed.
What's next for Genene's food career isn't set in stone. First comes the dream to own a regional property with an orchard. One that she can use to grow fresh produce and turn it into jams, relishes, pastes and whatever else she can transform into preserved gold. Then, who knows?