The first season of MasterChef coincided with two other significant events for me: the first cake decorating book my dad bequeathed unto me, and the time around which my dessert-loving boyfriend and I stopped spending every waking hour at live music concerts and more time hanging out at home and, subsequently, cooking for him.
It reignited a love of food and baking that I’d had flashes of as a child, but had lost touch with as other things filled my life.
Julie Goodwin, Australia’s first MasterChef, won many hearts during a competition throughout which she often appeared out of her league. She was so lovely I couldn’t be upset when she beat my favourite contestant, Poh, in the Grand Final. But I think the moment she won the most hearts was when, during one of the final challenges, she revealed the idea for her cook book. Every chapter to tell of a chapter in her life. It would be filled with stories and photos of her family and their favourite recipes. But the final chapter would be left blank, for us to fill with out of tales, photos and recipes.
Win she did, and with her publishing deal she released exactly the book she’d promised on the show, titled “Our Family Table”.