Willowbank native Nicole Stevenson has been eliminated from MasterChef.
Willowbank native Nicole Stevenson has been eliminated from MasterChef. Ben Cronje

MasterChef: Fish fry feast too much for Ipswich cook

NICOLE Stevenson has walked out of the MasterChef kitchen smiling tonight, despite narrowly missing out on a spot in the Top 10.

The Willowbank native will begin a new chapter of her life thanks to her stint on the reality food show.

"Top 10 definitely was a milestone I was hoping to reach, but if you'd told me six months ago I'd make it as far as I did I'd laugh," she told the QT.

"Everyone who's left deserves to be there and I walked out with a smile on my face."

Redbank Plains father-of-three Ben Ungermann has made the cut, and Nicole believes he stands a good chance of making it to the finals.

"Ben has improved a lot. I think he was an underdog going in," she said.

"He really has put in the hard yards, so good on him for still being there."

The demands of tonight's pressure test got the better of Nicole, who struggled to recreate chef Paul Carmichael's Caribbean-style bajan fish fry.

The lengthy recipe - which consisted of charred pumpkin and salted cod, black pudding, pickled cucumber and a centre piece of fried snapper - required the contestants to fillet and debone their snapper while ensuring it still looked like a whole fish.

"Panic set in when I first saw the fish needed to be filleted from the inside out, which was unfortunately right at the start of the cook," she said.

"Unfortunately I couldn't do it well enough and that's what sent me home."

Nicole plans to open a croquette stall in Brisbane in August and will also draw on her background as a medical secretary at a weight-loss clinic to create a cookbook for gastric sleeve surgery patients.

"A lot of people who have weight-loss surgery struggle with keeping their food interesting while in the guidelines of the nutritional values of what they need to be taking in," she said.

Nicole said meeting and cooking for Heston Blumenthal and Yotam Ottolenghi were two of her highlights from her time on the show.

"The pinnacle of MasterChef is Heston week and Yotam was a pleasant surprise," she said.

"He wasn't at the top of my list of celebrity chefs I wanted to come but he brought so much passion."

The 24-year-old has been overwhelmed by the support she has received from Queensland viewers.

"We were warned about all the negativity we may receive on social media, but I've been overwhelmed with positive responses," she said.

"It's nice to see how much people are passionate about it and back you. The support has been really amazing."

To stay up to date on Nicole's projects follow her on Instagram @Nicole_Steveo.

MasterChef continues tomorrow at 7.30pm on Channel 10.

Young man killed in tragic Western Downs crash

Premium Content Young man killed in tragic Western Downs crash

A young motorbike rider has lost his life after he was involved in a fatal crash in...

Brisbane preferred candidate to host 2032 Olympics

Premium Content Brisbane preferred candidate to host 2032 Olympics

Olympics 2032: Brisbane gets IOC green light to go for Olympic gold

Qld’s $8.9b drug habit skyrockets

Premium Content Qld’s $8.9b drug habit skyrockets

Drug use in Queensland: Cocaine and ecstasy use surges