'I'm Never Making One Of These Again': The Dessert That Got Christina Eliminated From 'MasterChef'
Despite wowing the judges with an "incredible" ice-cream, there was one element of Christina's final dessert that ultimately let her down.
"Oh my god, I'm really worried about this espuma -- it just doesn't look good," said Christina after plating up chef Santi Fernandez' chocolate, banana, peanut, brown butter and miso masterpiece at Voyager Estate in Margaret River, WA.
For anyone wondering what 'espuma' is, it's the culinary foam first popularised at legendary Spanish restaurant El Bulli back in the '90s and involves using a cream charger to dispense a cloud-like substance for either savoury or sweet dishes.
"In my mind, I thought I followed the recipe but, because everything went so quickly, towards the end, obviously I’d done something wrong, I still don’t know what!" Christina told 10 daily over the phone after her elimination.
Despite plating up an otherwise flawless dessert, Christina's cream charger began to spurt as she attempted to get the thick, chocolatey foam onto the plate as Gary, George, Matt and Santi watched.
"And then I’m thinking, 'Oh no, why is it not coming out?'
"I’m like, shaking the cannister and then George had a go. I was like 'Oh no, my whole entire MasterChef journey is coming down to espuma, I’m never making one of these again!" she laughed.
Christina, Simona and Larissa found themselves up for elimination after failing to feed 12 of their diners in the previous night's team challenge -- although Larissa opted to use her immunity pin to avoid the stressful cook.
Simon and Christina were tasked with creating two dishes simultaneously -- the tricky dessert and a delicate quail and scallops dish.
"I was so nervous, I’ve never been more nervous in front of the judges than I was that day," Christina told 10 daily.
"I could hardly speak, it really hit me," she said of plating up her final dishes
Although Christina was laser-focused on making it to finals week, her exit from the competition meant she could finally reunite with her kids after nearly five months apart.
"I found it really hard towards the end," she said of being away from Jethro, 5, and Willow, 8.
"At first, it was, 'Yay, no kids!' It had been years, eight years of stay at home mum-ing but that wore off very quickly, maybe even after a week or two," she said of being in the 'MasterChef' house and making it all the way to the final seven.
She explained that she got to see her kids for few days over Easter and "felt like they were struggling a bit without me".
"When I went back after that break, it was in my mind, I must say, the last few cooks," she told 10 daily.
Since being back home, she's been watching 'MasterChef' with her kids, who are proud as punch their mum made it so far on the competition.
"They’re really proud of me, I’ve watched it every night. My daughter, in particular, understands a lot more, she’s older.
"She’s just so proud and tells everyone at school, ‘my mummy’s on MasterChef,'" said Christina.
Throughout her time in the competition, Christina consistently plated up tasty creations -- only once landing in a pressure test -- but explained that her turning point really arrived the day she made those delicious looking mussels with turmeric flatbread.
"I think I found my groove probably halfway through the show, it took me a while to find my feet," she told 10 daily.
It was probably when I got close to coming home, it was the second round of elimination and Maggie Beer was there. And that’s when I made the Thai turmeric mussels, actually.
She explained that it was a real turning point because it was the first time she started to cook with the same confidence she has in her own kitchen at home.
"I feel embarrassed looking at what I put up at the start, almost," she said, noting how far her culinary skills have come.
"It’s nuts when you look at what you were cooking on the TV, you forget. And then you watch what you’re cooking at the end and it's crazy how much you learn. Best learning experience ever.
Christina is currently working on her food website, an e-book of recipes and is scouting locations for some kitchen demos in the near future.
We're going to miss you, Christina!