Joe Told Us The Best Thing About Leaving 'MasterChef' During Queensland Week
Joe Ahern has exited the 'MasterChef' kitchen in true style.
The 22-year-old pasta king optimistically told 10 daily that he wasn't too bummed out that he was eliminated during the contestants' trip to the sunshine state.
"It didn’t bother me leaving during Queensland Week, I was just happy that I made it that far," Joe said.
"It was a bit different as well, a bit of a nicer view to go out on rather than just walking out of the 'MasterChef' kitchen, so that was nice," he added.
And it's totally true -- instead of slinking out of the back door of the 'MasterChef' kitchen and hopping into a black car, Joe farewelled his food family on a gorgeous beach on the Gold Coast.
He got to triumphantly walk away with the wind in his hair and the waves crashing behind him like a god-damned movie star as the remaining contestants cheered him on.
Unfortunately, what happened before the cinematic beach scene was more of a fishy nightmare with Joe having to endure two rounds of technical seafood cooking.
"Seafood is not a strong suit of mine, it’s something that my girlfriend doesn’t like eating, so I don’t generally cook it a lot," Joe told 10 daily.
The first round of the elimination involved the previous episode's green team battling it out to fillet fish, peel and de-vein prawns and successfully remove the tails from Moreton Bay bugs in a skills test.
Joe's damaged bug tail landed him in the next round and he began to quickly guess what might be in store for the next challenge, considering different prawn recipes.
"And then when I was told we needed to make a seafood platter that involves seven different types of seafood, all of that just flew out of my head and I had to rethink my entire strategy," he said.
The stressful challenge made Joe think of the professionals who visit 'MasterChef' and the way they exude calm confidence as they cook.
"You watch the professional chefs who come on the show that do really well in immunity challenges and what they all have in common is, they’re calm, they’re not stressing themselves out," he said.
"But I tried to channel that a little bit in my cook and not lose my head but unfortunately towards the end with probably thirty minutes to go, things spiralled out of control and I couldn’t get a plate up that I was proud of and that’s pretty disappointing," Joe said.
But although seafood might not have been Joe's strongest suit, he definitely has plenty to be proud of this season, making one of the best-filled pastas of the entire series, according to George Calombaris.
Joe became known as the pasta king throughout the competition, revealing that he'd been practising with his Italian girlfriend's grandmother, Nonna Angela.
We had previously chatted to Joe about his relationship with the woman who taught him to make agnolotti but had to know whether Nonna Angela has been watching him on 'MasterChef'.
'She has been watching!" Joe laughed, adding that he hasn't yet been round to watch an episode with her yet.
Although there's one episode he doesn't really want his pasta mentor to see.
"There was an elimination where I cooked pasta, the night after the Italian challenge," said Joe.
"I had to call up my girlfriend because she was having pasta at Nonna's and they were about to watch the show together and I said, 'No, you're not allowed to watch this episode, I'm too embarrassed!'
"I didn't want Nonna to see me fail!" he laughed.
He said he'd "give it a few weeks" and watch the episode with the whole family when he's ready.
Since leaving the competition, Joe has been planning a series of pop-ups with co-contestant Kyle Lyons and is about to head to Italy with his girlfriend, hoping to be inspired by the local cuisine.