‘Crazy Women Out The Front Of My House’: How The ‘MasterChef’ Gang Cheered Up Steph After Her Elimination
Steph de Sousa was eliminated from 'MasterChef' following Kate Reid's epic croissant challenge -- but her newfound family knew exactly how to cheer her up.
Steph told 10 daily over the phone that her fellow eliminated contestants Mandy Hall, Jess Hall and Monica Mignone all took a road trip to see her in Newcastle when she got out of the competition.
"Bless them, I was a little bit sad when I was eliminated," Steph told 10 daily.
"Mandy just said, 'Right, I’m getting on a plane, I’m coming, we need to cheer you up' and she was on the phone to Monica and Monica said, ‘Well I’m coming too!’
"And then they said, 'Well, we’ll bring Jess up on the way!'" laughed Steph.
The gals printed their so-called 'Rejects Tour' t-shirts that represented the foods that sent them home (gravy, custard, cabbage) and proudly presented Steph with her #Croissant tee on the front lawn of her NSW home.
"The next thing, I’ve got these crazy women out the front of my house wearing their reject t-shirts, it was hilarious," explained Steph.
"It was funny because I kind of forgot where I was and Mandy handed me my t-shirt as we’re standing out the front of my house. It’s pitch black and I ripped my shirt off and put the t-shirt on, it was great, it was a really funny moment."
Steph was sent home following a pressure test alongside Derek Lau and Simon Toohey that set the trio up for a two-day challenge -- something that's never been done before in 'MasterChef' history.
Lune's Kate Reid was on hand to mentor the contestants through her black forest croissant recipe -- a scientific wonder and architectural work of art.
Despite finding her mojo midway through the competition and keeping her cool right through the croissant marathon, there was one element that Steph knew she'd be challenged by.
"I knew right from the beginning of 'MasterChef' that a recipe was actually going to be my undoing," she told 10 daily over the phone.
"When I rang my mum and told her that I had been eliminated, the first thing she said to me was, ‘it was a recipe, wasn’t it?’"
"I had lots of problems with reading when I was a kid and it’s never really been something that I’ve been particularly good at," she told 10 daily.
Steph spent plenty of time poring over the recipe and highlighting specific measurements to make sure she wouldn't get tripped up by the detailed instructions.
"Which meant I was a bit late starting compared to everyone else but I think for me, because I’m a slow reader, I knew that’s what I had to do and that’s how I had to handle the challenge," she said.
Steph made it to the finish line and put up a beautiful interpretation of Kate's croissant -- but was ultimately undone by an uncooked chocolate frangipane.
But in accepting it was time to leave the 'MasterChef' kitchen, Steph left with some powerful parting words, telling the judges that the experience was the first time in her life that she'd truly felt herself.
"It actually makes me feel a bit teary thinking about that now," Steph told 10 daily of the poignant moment, explaining that it was the first time she'd truly done something solely for herself.
"Not having any of those other roles on my shoulders, like being a mum or being a wife or being an HR professional -- all those hats that you wear, all of those were stripped off and I was just doing the one thing that I truly loved.
"And it was like I was stripped naked and I knew exactly who I was meant to be. It was such a nice feeling, to be able to feel 100 percent myself," she said.
Since leaving the competition, Steph has had a re-match with the dessert that sent her home -- undergoing a stint at Lune in Melbourne.
"I think I made about a thousand black forest croissants so I’ve nailed that now!" she said, praising Kate Reid's croissanterie.
"She has the most amazing operation and her staff are beautiful, they’re such a reflection of the amazing culture that she’s created at Lune," said Steph.
She's also launching her website Spicy Steph that's aiming to help fans add a little more spice into their meals and is also planning a pop up at Table 1 Espresso at Warner's Bay as well as some trips to India for food demonstrations.
Steph, we're going to miss you so much!