Written by Zoë Holloway, July 27, 2016

Last night, Elena Duggan took out the title of this year’s MasterChef over Matt Sinclair. Fresh off the back of her win, OK! spoke to the 32-year-old about what life has in store for her after the show.

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First of all, congratulations!

Thank you!

How do you feel?

A little bit tired, but definitely excited and relieved. I feel like I’m floating!

How did the finale compare to other challenges?

Luckily, we’d been in training with all the other challenges because it was a marathon to get through! It was absolute intense focus, but I was just determined to enjoy it because I knew it was going to be my last cook in those beautiful kitchens.

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Have you spoken to Matt?

Yeah, absolutely! We were together when we found out last night and celebrated a little bit together before going and celebrating with our loved ones, and I’ve seen him again this morning. We just have such a mutual respect and admiration for each other, and we’ll be getting together later on the Sunshine Coast as well.

So what are your plans now? What are you planning on doing with the $250,000?

No immediate or wild and crazy plans with the money, but my long-term goals are still the definitely the same. I want to have my own farm/café/restaurant on the east coast of Australia, showcasing local produce, growing my own produce and having that bond with a community and local producers, and engaging young people in wanting to grow and eat and cook their own food as well.

I think in the short term, the steps I need to take are to get more industry experience under my belt and visit places that inspire me, and that I admire. The money will allow me to do that a little bit more freely and make sure I do that right. I’m thinking of doing some work experience in California and then around Australia.

What did you miss most about being away from home?

My family and my loved ones! I speak to them and/or saw them every day [before the competition] so it was a really big deal to be away from them doing this. It would have been hard to do it if I was with them though as they would have been a wonderful distraction. Instead, I was able to completely immerse myself in the learning and development of it all.

But I was so glad that I could show them just how far I had come in last night’s episode.

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So you’re normally an art teacher – did any of your kids watch the show?

I think all of them! I’ve been getting a lovely influx of emails and social media posts from them. I’m always so proud of them so it’s so nice to see them proud of me.

I can just hopefully inspire them to be their best selves, strive to be who they want, and believe in their dreams.

 

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