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The Dish I should have Cooked

“What’s your signature dish?” the journalist asked, and my heart crumbled at not being allowed to give away any secrets. All I wanted to do was scream to the rooftops that it was the dish I never cooked…

I had been home for 24 hours since being eliminated, emotional and feeling strange. I chatted to my intern Melissa and the worst thing in the world happened… I realised in the parking lot of my office building that Master Chef SA had handed me all the ingredients I needed and wanted to make my Signature Dish.

This was the dish I wanted to make for Day 2 Boot Camp but sharing an oven was too risky, so I opted for… Chicken 


So what is my Signature Dish? 40 Cloves of Garlic Roasted Chicken, served with mash and sweet carrots.

A dish I thought would be too simple for Master Chef so instead of cooking it, tried to showcase technique, texture bla bla bla and got told my dish didn’t come together… oh and the pearl of a comment from Pete… it was like having Sunday lunch at your Aunt’s house and not wanting seconds.

I had the opportunity to chat about my time on the show with Marco Pierre White and he said I should have replied to Pete and told him, “My aunt dishes up enough – you don’t need seconds at her house!” J waaa haaa! If I could relive the show, it would have been to say that on air!!!!


I stood next to Francois and Roxy and kept repeating to myself “don’t say my name don’t say my name…” and they said my name, and then it was all over.

It has taken months for me to forgive myself for not cooking my go-to dish, and sometimes I don’t think I ever will…. I have not really been in many situations in my life that I feel I never delivered my full potential, and therefore resulted in a missed opportunity.

So I am reminded to forgive myself every time it comes to mind, and the feeling and weight of disappointment and failure creeps into my head and heart. If Master Chef taught me one thing it’s not to over think things, go with your gut and always always do what you know you want to taste/enjoy/see.

Im so grateful for the opportunity and thinking back only great things have happened since Masterchef and I trust Gods planning and remember that everything happens for a reason and the way its meant to in the end. The special moment below when I was told I made into the Top 12, Price less :-)


Ill be posting my 40 cloves of Garlic Recipe shortly.






Written by claire allen

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