GONE: MasterChef contestant Fiona Grindlay who served haggis.
GONE: MasterChef contestant Fiona Grindlay who served haggis. Martin Philbey

Masterchef foodie opens up about bulimia struggle

QUEENSLAND cook Fiona Grindlay's time in the MasterChef kitchen is over after she attempted to recreate a carrot cake on steroids.

Sydney pastry chef Anna Polyviou set the difficult pressure test on Monday night with 2014's Australian Dessert of the Year, a modern take on a carrot cake featuring 12 elements and a 40-step recipe.

"I'm a firm meat-and-two-veg kind of gal, so I was freaked out straight off the bat," said Grindlay, who served the MasterChef judges haggis for her Top 24 audition.

"Unfortunately in this kitchen your brain falls out of your head sometimes."

During the intense, three-hour challenge the 31-year-old foodie opened up about her teenage struggle with bulimia.

"I had a horrendous relationship with food for about three to four years in that period while I was modelling," she said.

"You obviously had to be quite slim. I thought I was, but then you're sort of constantly getting told to lose weight. When I ate something I would feel guilty about it, which then obviously led into an eating disorder for me.

"When my family found out about my bulimia they were obviously very concerned, but hugely supportive. I started eating again; I started really enjoying food again. My relationship with food is now absolutely amazing, even better than it was before I started modelling."

While her long-term goal is to open a sustainable bed and breakfast in Victoria's Yarra Valley, the marketing manager plans to stay in Brisbane for now and hopes to work with a charity.

"I'd like to do some stuff with Scottish foods and maybe work with bulimia-related organisations," she said.

Grindlay moved from Scotland to Australia seven years ago and is now a citizen.

She tips fellow Queenslander Ashleigh Bareham, from Buderim on the Sunshine Coast, as one of the show's front-runners.

"Ashleigh is my dark horse; I'm taking her to win the thing," she said.

"She's got her desserts down pat. I've seen her cook a few mains in the house, so she's been concentrating on her savoury side.

"Ashleigh's got a nice touch and she's very clever with flavour combinations."

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



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