Second local chef in TV show

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Growing up in Tamahere helped MasterChef finalist Chelsea Winter develop her passion for all things fresh.

Chelsea Winter - from Tamahere to MasterChef finalist

The Waikato woman was named a finalist on the third season of the show on Tuesday night, after a nail-biting episode.

UPDATE: Contest result here.

Her proud dad, Mark Winter, is looking forward to the grand finale as much as anyone, reported the Waikato Times.

With producers and contenders sworn to secrecy until the official show broadcast, he’s in the dark as much as the viewers.

“I’m pretty chuffed, absolutely. It’s totally unexpected that she’s got as far as she has,” he said. “I’m in as much suspense as everyone else.”

Ms Winter will join Waiheke-based Ana Schwarz in the final show, which began with 16 contestants.

Mr Winter remembers his daughter’s love for cooking from an early age, while living on a Tamahere farm.

“Her farmland childhood has certainly influenced her style of cooking – her no-nonsense attitude, but that’s also her nature and personality.”

Ms Winter is a former pupil of Tamahere Country School and said the best thing about growing up on a farm was living “off the land”.

“Mum always had a giant vege patch growing everything under the sun, chooks roamed free so our eggs were always free range, and we’d have our own beef from home kills – a freezerload full of it,” she said.

“Everything was homemade where it could be, and it was fresh, flavoursome, simple and tasted great.”

Now an Auckland marketing executive, Ms Winter loved the chance to get back to the country.

“Dad still lived in Hamilton up until a year or so ago, and it was always nice to escape from Auckland’s smelly, smoggy, traffic jams and chill in the Tron for the weekend. The Balcony used to be my favourite place for a special dinner.”

Ms Winter said MasterChef was the best thing she’d ever done: “I’m sad that there’s only one episode to go because I love watching it happen all over again.”

The final episode will show on Tuesday, June 12 from 7.30pm on TV1.

Tamahere man, Phillip Maultsaid, was a MasterChef contestant in 2010.

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