MasterChef's Kristen: 'People Need To Be Reminded We Are Real People'
From frozen dinners to dealing with trolls, the recently eliminated Kristen dished on her life after MasterChef.
One of the most memorable auditions in season 10 of MasterChef has to be Kristen Sheffield.
The 27-year-old spoke about how she had wanted to apply for the show for years, but her own insecurities stopped her. "I think I lacked a bit of self confidence," she said at the time.
"I thought I couldn't do it... I felt, 'I'm a bit overweight, I can't be a cook,' she told the judges.
"You place a lot of expectation on yourself and how you should look. I think it took a long time to accept me and be kind to myself and do what makes me happy."
That decision to be kind to herself saw Kristen not only make the top 24, but the final eight of this year's contestants.
"Getting an apron was definitely the first step to saying, 'Okay, you need to believe in yourself'," Kristen told ten daily.
"There are still days when you doubt yourself, but on those days I was lucky to be in that environment."
Kristen explained that despite occasionally feeling insecure, the MasterChef kitchen and house full of contestants was one of the most supportive environments. Despite the stress of the constant challenges, the top 24 bonded incredibly fast, like a family.
"I think that's one of the biggest reasons we're so upset to leave the competition, you're cut off from that instantly. It's a shock to the system."
Unfortunately, it was Peter Gilmore's iconic snow egg from the second season -- which returned again to taunt contestants -- that saw Kristen leaving the competition.
Kristen said since leaving the competition she needed time to "decompress", but she was surrounded by her supportive friends and family. Her husband was overjoyed when she returned from the competition -- with Kristen leaving him with a stack of frozen meals before she left for the house.
Not knowing how long she'd be in the MasterChef house for, Kristen prepped about three weeks worth of food, "It wasn't enough... he ran out after a few weeks and I think survived on fried eggs on toast".
The support wasn't just limited to those in her real life, but extended out to social media where Kristen described the overwhelming response as extremely positive.
"I get dozens of messages every day with lovely messages saying I've encouraged people to come out of their shells," Kristen told ten daily, adding, "there's always going to be that drop of negativity in the ocean".
"Every now and then there are comments that are made and people need to be reminded: we are real people putting ourselves out there, having a go."
Despite it being a minority, occasionally -- Kristen told us -- she feels the need to speak up, especially when comments attack female contestants in a way they wouldn't the male.
"I think in the last few seasons there have been people calling young attractive females 'favourites', and I don't think that's called for. It's contributing to wider issues in society."
During her audition, the judges spoke about her concerns with her own image, and her own insecurities -- saying that the show doesn't care *who* you are, just what you plate up.
"It is all about food," Kristen added, "It's such a wholesome, supportive environment and at the same time all they care about is the food. At the end of the day, it's reality TV, it's a very small portion of you being portrayed."
Since leaving that environment Kristen has been travelling non-stop, including stopping off in the U.K. to catch-up with her mate Nigella Lawson, who promised a high tea with her after she won a mystery box challenge.
Still, despite being on the move, Kristen has begun working to launch a dessert catering business, with hopes to own a patisserie, dessert bar or pop-ups in the future.