We Are Two Very Competitive People: The Opponent Laura Sharrad Doesn’t Want To Face On MasterChef
Laura Sharrad is making her MasterChef return after a very impressive career in the culinary world -- but there's one challenge she doesn't necessarily want to face on Back To Win.
Laura was just 18 -- and was Laura Cassai -- when she entered the sixth season of the cooking competition, impressing Australia with her flair for Italian cuisine that got her all the way to the grand final.
After coming second to Brent Owens, Laura set off for her first job in the industry at Orana in Adelaide, where brand new MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo was her boss.
Laura now runs Nido Pasta with her husband Max Sharrad, a name that's probably quite familiar to fans of the show who will recognise him as a regular guest chef.
Speaking to 10 daily ahead of the Back To Win premiere, Laura laughed when we asked how she'd feel about her partner rocking up to compete against her on TV.
"This is the question that kills me!" she said.
"Everyone keeps asking me this, I and literally had this nightmare that we went up against each other in an immunity challenge," she said explaining that Dream Max promised her he'd purposely lose.
"He lost last year [against Tessa Boersma] and he was totally chilled out about it but [in the dream] he was like, ‘Sorry, I can’t lose two years in a row!’ so I was heartbroken," she said.
Laura added that, while she's terrible at keeping secrets, Max wouldn't say a word if he got the call to be a guest chef on Back To Win.
"It would be a very entertaining episode because we are two very competitive people and I think people would literally pay to come and sit on the kitchen bar just to watch us bicker and have fun in the kitchen," she said.
"But I don’t know if I’d actually want to cook off against him because I’d be… that’s probably the scariest thing that could happen to me in the show."
Jokes aside, Laura said it was Max who encouraged her to return to the MasterChef kitchen, assuring her that he'd keep things at Nido bubbling along.
"It’s an amazing opportunity and just to be asked is really cool.," Laura told 10 daily. "And he’s been very, very supportive and has pulled lots of strings to cover me, he basically said, ‘Don’t worry about me, I’m fine, go, have fun.'"
Laura enters Back To Win with six years of culinary experience, most notably from running Nido.
"I own a small pasta bar in Adelaide, so we specialise in handmade pastas, a few little snacks and then all of our meats are done through a wood oven," she explaiend.
"We work with all small, local producers in the Adelaide Hills, our wines are a combination of South Australian and Italian, and we’re very into supporting local, using whole animals, and not wasting anything," she added.
But while Laura spends a lot of time rolling out gnocchi, fettuccine, spaghetti and tortellini, she said she's got plenty more tricks up her sleeve.
"Everyone thinks I’ll be making pasta every episode which is fine, let them think that!" she laughed.
"I can cook more than pasta but obviously, you’ve got to stick to your strengths and there will be a few dishes that I will whip out when the time is right."