Local Dural resident and Wild Pear Cafe manager, Larissa Takchi, has become the youngest winner in MasterChef Australia history, crowned victorious at just 22 years old with a huge score of 85/90 following the Grand Finale of the competition.
Larissa takes home not only the MasterChef Australia title and trophy, but a cash prize of $250,000 to kick-start her food dream, a monthly column in Australia’s leading premium food magazine, Delicious, and a top of the range Holden Equinox.
Thrilled to be sharing this moment with her family and fellow contestants, Larissa said: “MasterChef isn’t just a cooking show, it’s a lifestyle change. To think that I was just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life in a small town, and now when I look into the mirror, I almost can’t recognise myself.
“When I applied for MasterChef, never in a million years did I think I would grow so much. The Grand Finale was the biggest test in the competition so far, but with the support of my family, Shannon Bennett and the judges, I honestly feel like I could conquer anything. I’m so excited to see what lies ahead.”
On behalf of the judges, Gary Mehigan said Larissa was a deserved winner, showing determination, inventiveness and maturity. “She thinks differently to the other contestants, and she loves a laugh and has a great sense of humour. For somebody that was so young and predominantly focused on the sweet side of creativity, I expected her to falter towards the end of the competition. In fact, the penny dropped, and everything started to come together and she improved in leaps and bounds and put up some of the best dishes that we have seen in MasterChef. We are all convinced that she will do brilliantly well and can’t wait to see what she does next,” he said.
This area seems to have a great history of MasterChef winners, with Galston High School Teacher, Elena Duggan winning MasterChef in 2016.
A BIT ABOUT LARISSA
LARISSA TAKCHI lives in Dural and is part of a big Lebanese family. Larissa says weekends with her family have always revolved around food. With her dad one of nine children, Larissa and her three siblings spent their Sundays with all her cousins enjoying big lunches and dinners. Everyone would bring plates of food, and her fondest memories are of her aunties in the kitchen preparing generous plates.
Larissa attended Hillside Public School, then High School at Mount St Benedict College, finishing in 2014. Larissa earnt a spot at Macquarie University, where she is now studying a Bachelor of Business Administration. Her Mum owns Wild Pear Café at Dural, and it is there Larissa works as a Restaurant Manager. With her Mum a chef, there’s strong argument Larissa had an ace in her pocket this competition, and she admits while she’s mostly self-taught, Mum has always been there along the way to help out.
Finally we would like to congratulate Larissa on her recent engagement to fiance Luke. We wish you all the happiness for your future together. What a year!!