ONE TO BEAT: MasterChef Australia Top 10 contestant Billie McKay, of Ballina.
ONE TO BEAT: MasterChef Australia Top 10 contestant Billie McKay, of Ballina. Martin Philbey

Ballina's Billie pins top 10 spot in Masterchef

A FUTURE in food is looking brighter than ever for Billie McKay.

The young Ballina cook has secured her spot in MasterChef's Top 10, a significant milestone on the reality cooking show.

"I still can't quite believe it," Ms McKay told The Northern Star.

"It was hard not being in touch with everyone (during filming) and only keeping the achievement to myself. It's nice to be able to tell people now."

Ms McKay found herself in a black apron last night after her team lost Wednesday's high tea challenge. She used her precious immunity pin to avoid the elimination cook-off, which had previously eliminated contestants return to compete for a spot back on the show.

"I didn't want to get rid of the pin, but I knew I had to use it to get ahead," she said.

"I didn't want the judges to think I was giving it up too easy or not thinking about my decision. To me that's what the pin's there for. There's no other reason to use it."

Recently eliminated cook Stephen Rooney has tipped Ms McKay as the one to beat because of her positive attitude and ability to stay calm under pressure.

"It's definitely tempting to give up I guess because we'd all been away from our families for a long time but getting to the Top 10 is a huge effort and you know you can't give up," she said.

"I just try to take every day as it comes."

The 23-year-old said her intensive learning experience on the show has solidified her goal of one day opening a restaurant in the Northern Rivers region. "When I started I knew I wanted to have my own restaurant," she said. "Being on the show and meeting the (guest) chefs, my dream has just become stronger. I suppose I've really narrowed it down to what I want to do.

"My dream is to bring fine dining food to a country area. I love the Northern Rivers, so that will definitely be an option."

MasterChef Australia airs Sundays through Thursdays at 7.30pm on Channel 10.



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