From left, Marco Pierre White, Rhett Willis, winner Rhys Badcock, Sarah Knights and Matt Preston from the grand final of MasterChef: The Professionals.
From left, Marco Pierre White, Rhett Willis, winner Rhys Badcock, Sarah Knights and Matt Preston from the grand final of MasterChef: The Professionals. Contributed - Network Ten

MasterChef winner hopes to see restaurant dream come true

HOME is where the heart is, and Rhys Badcock's heart is in Byron Bay.

The 29-year-old head chef will be travelling around the world after winning the inaugural MasterChef: The Professionals series as part of his grand prize, which also includes $200,000 to realise his food dream.

That dream includes opening his own restaurant in Byron.

"I love the place," he said.

"Home is where the heart is. I really enjoy it there.

"It would be a different restaurant to anything else in town - lots of wicked little foods, a different menu every day, wicked drinks, and lots of local produce."

But first Badcock plans to "buy a Kombi" and drive to WA to see his mum before embarking on his trip to gain experience in some of the best restaurants in the world.

Just don't ask him where he plans to go.

"I haven't thought about the trip (yet). I didn't think about winning…I thought Sarah would win," he said.

"There are so many places you could go around the world. You know, I wouldn't mind going to work with Tetsuya.  He's pretty damn good."

True to his laid-back demeanour, Badcock's celebrations on Sunday night were pretty low-key.

"I had a glass of champagne and then hit the hey, although my phone didn't stop ringing until 3am," he said.

Badcock took the lead in the second of three challenges after recreating judge Marco Pierre White's lobster and leek terrine without looking at the recipe.

"It was more of a mistake than being bold," he said.

"I didn't realise how well I did until they gave me a (score of) nine."

Runners-up Sarah Knights and Rhett Willis each received $10,000.

Sunday's MasterChef finale was more of a simmer than a ratings bang for Ten.

The winner announcement drew in 1.02 million viewers but Nine's The Block All Stars was the most popular show of the night with a peak of 2.011 million viewers.

But Seven won the night overall with a 22.4 percent market share across the five metro cities.

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