'I Nearly Dropped My Plates': Anushka's Emotional 'MasterChef' Family Reunion

Anushka still doesn't remember what she did with the plates she was holding when she first spotted her son in the 'MasterChef' garden.

Overcome with shock that the 'best of the best' guests were actually two tables of the contestants' families and friends -- Anushka almost forgot what she was doing.

"I don’t know what happened to me, I nearly dropped the plates!" Anushka told 10 daily over the phone.

"Until this day, I have no idea what happened to those plates, I’m really wondering I’m going to have to really watch carefully," she said. 

"What happened to the plates in my hands! Did I put them down?"

Photo: Network 10.

We explained to Anushka that after reviewing the footage, she held a firm grip on the plates as she hugged her son, somehow managing to avoid spilling her team's starter all over the 'MasterChef' garden.

"I actually hugged him with the plates in my hands?" she asked. "That sounds like me!"

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It had been months since Anushka had seen her husband, son and daughter and she explained that she's also been strategically "blocking them off" during her time in the 'MasterChef' house.

"I think it was instinctive, it wasn’t pre-planned," Anushka said of limiting the contact she has with her family. 

"I don't give them that much information. I don't talk to them about what is going on with me emotionally, my struggles in the competition," she said, adding that she'd chat about more practical details. 

Anushka's family reunion. Photo: Network 10.

Anushka explained that she was careful about keeping her old reality separate from her new one, understanding that she'd probably get too emotional if she got fixated on what her family was up to.

"It’s been 30 years, I’m married and my kids and my family -- that’s who I am, that’s my identity.

"I just had to do something about it to be able to do something for myself."

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The layer cake queen explained that she cried all the way from the 'MasterChef' house to the studio one day after receiving a letter from her daughter, Lilit.

"And I just couldn’t stop sobbing and it was embarrassing,  I just could not stop. 

"After that I said, I really appreciate it but please don’t send me letters any more, so, it was really, really hard," Anushka said. 

Photo: Network 10.

Which is why seeing her family face to face caused such an outpouring of emotion for poor Anushka, who had been bravely holding herself together after months apart from her loved ones.

She explained that her kids knew immediately which dish she'd made as part of the four-course banquet honouring some of Australia's best produce.

"They knew my dish was the dessert, just because of the flavour combination, they read the menu and they knew," she said of her fennel parfait with caramelised apples and walnuts. 

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After the marathon cook, the contestants were able to take their aprons off and spend some precious time with their families before heading back into 'MasterChef' world.

"We spent probably another 15-20 minutes with them but the desire to pack up, get into the car and go with them was really, really strong," said Anushka. 

 MasterChef Australia airs Sunday to Thursday nights at 7.30pm. Only On 10 And WIN Network. Missed an episode? Catch up on 10 Play or 10 All Access!