MasterChef Australia Top 6 finalist Ben MacDonald.
MasterChef Australia Top 6 finalist Ben MacDonald. Network Ten

Ben is the last Queenslander standing in MasterChef finals

BEN MacDonald is the last Queenslander standing on MasterChef.

The Brisbane IT consultant, originally from Whangarei in New Zealand, has reached the milestone of the reality cooking show's finals week, which starts tonight.

The 36-year-old goes into the finals on a wave of confidence after he wowed guest judge Heston Blumenthal on Thursday with his inventive "bonfire on a plate" dish.

"Eating at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck changed the way I thought about food forever," said MacDonald, who lived in the UK for 13 years.

In tonight's mystery box challenge MacDonald will have to create a dish based on ingredients chosen by his girlfriend Robyn, whose parents live at Dickie Beach on the Sunshine Coast.

"We spend a lot of time up there," he said.

MasterChef Australia 2014 Top 6 finalists, from left, Tracy Collins, Ben MacDonald, Laura Cassai, Brent Owens, Emelia Jackson and Jamie Fleming. Supplied by Network Ten.
MasterChef Australia 2014 Top 6 finalists, from left, Tracy Collins, Ben MacDonald, Laura Cassai, Brent Owens, Emelia Jackson and Jamie Fleming. Supplied by Network Ten.

"We met in London six or seven years ago, so when I got the work opportunity in Brisbane we could be closer to her parents.

"I love it up there; I think it's fantastic. Even when I was living in London we had Christmases up there."

Robyn was a vegetarian when she first met the foodie, who converted her back to meat with his lamb tagine.

MacDonald reckons the separation and limited communication is harder for the partners than the contestants on the show.

"You've been hanging out with a bunch of new friends and going through amazing experiences," he said.

"They're the unsung heroes at the end of the day. They're the ones at home eating cereal for dinner."

There's no turning back for MacDonald, who quit his job in IT when he was accepted on to the show.

"I plan on giving it everything," he said.

"MasterChef is the first step and it will open a lot of doors but it's up to me to walk through them."

MasterChef finals week starts tonight at 6.30pm on Channel 10.



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