'Just Speechless': The Culinary Legend That Made Tessa Emotional
'MasterChef' is kicking off Legends Week with one of the most respected chefs in the world -- who nearly had super fan Tessa in tears.
Ahead of tonight's massive mystery box challenge, judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris began dropping hints about who might be walking through the doors of the 'MasterChef' kitchen.
After hearing that the surprise guest was someone who had worked in an abattoir, as a clerk in a navy shipyard, and even as a DJ before opening his own fish and chip shop, contestnantTessa Boersma began to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
"If Rick Stein walks through those doors, I'll probably faint," Tessa said, as she began to tear up.
And while she didn't actually swoon when Stein did burst through the doors, Tessa got pretty emotional when she realised that she was about to cook for someone who has inspired her entire food journey.
"I’m a massive Rick Stein fan, he’s probably my ultimate food hero," Tessa told 10 daily over the phone after the challenge was filmed.
"He’s just one of those people that really affected me in my food life to go out there and try new food and experience the unknown and to travel," she added.
Since Stein last visited the 'MasterChef Australia' kitchen during Season 7, he's travelled to 14 countries to make three new TV shows -- including 'Rick Stein's Road To Mexico'.
"Watching him travel around the world and try different cuisines, he’s such an open, honest cook," Tessa told 10 daily, adding that, after meeting him in person, she was "just speechless".
"I couldn’t really think of the best words to describe that to him at the time, I was so nervous but it was just one of those moments where you pinch yourself and you can’t believe where you are," she explained.
Tessa said that she's "quite an emotional person" so it was a pretty moving experience to cook for her food idol.
"Like it really hit me hard what I was going through and who was in front of me," she said, adding that she, "couldn’t show him more respect".
"I couldn’t explain to him how much he affected my food love," she told 10 daily.
Tune into tonight's mystery box challenge at 7.30pm on 10 to find out what Tessa ended up cooking for the seafood master himself, Rick Stein.