MasterChef 2019: Keeping Up With Curtis: 'He's A Bit Of A Celebrity Crush'
Dee Williams got the shock of her life when she realised she'd be keeping up with Curtis Stone.
After scoring a spot in this season's first immunity challenge, Dee, Joe, Mandy and Tim nervously waited to find out what they'd have to cook to score a pin.
All four contestants' jaws hit the floor when Curtis Stone strode into the 'MasterChef' kitchen, but Dee told 10 daily that he's been "a bit of a celebrity crush" of hers for a while.
"I have a couple of Curtis’ books, so I’d been reading about him and watching his shows," she explained, adding that she "never expected" to meet him in the very first immunity challenge.
"As soon as I saw Curtis walking through the door, I was shocked!" she laughed. "I was like, ‘Is that Curtis? Oh my God!’" she said.
Dee told us that to see the celeb chef in the flesh was pretty "nerve-wracking", especially as the extremely stressful task involved mimicking Curtis' every movement to recreate this steak with twice-cooked chips, broccolini and Béarnaise sauce.
Dee has already had an impressive week on 'MasterChef', first emerging as a front runner when Gary, George and Matt couldn't get enough of her Sri Lankan prawn curry -- which earned her a spot in the immunity challenge.
She told 10 daily that she's been making the curry since she was a little girl growing up in Sri Lanka.
"I was in boarding school when I was small so on weekends and holidays I’d learn from my mother and grandmother and they’d mostly make south Indian and Sri Lankan food," Dee told us.
And after eating the same set menu at boarding school where the food was "not great", she would relish coming home to big family dinners.
And the flavours of Sri Lanka were something Dee brought with her when she moved to Melbourne for university-- although the move to Australia opened up a whole world of cuisines she'd never tried before.
"I never wanted to stick to Sri Lankan food, I always wanted to explore different flavours -- Indian or Italian or Greek and try and cook them at home," she said.
Dee began buying food magazines from the supermarket, which has snowballed into a collection of a whopping 250 cookbooks which she pores over regularly for inspiration.
Her ~food dream~ is to open her own Sri Lankan cooking school, using all the skills she's learning on 'MasterChef' to showcase the spicy, sour, sweet and fresh flavours from her homeland.
"A lot of people know about Sri Lankan food but it's not really up there at the moment," she said.
"So I think there's a bit of a niche market there for it!"