Georgia, a cute, talented and confident 11 year old competing in the Junior MasterChef contest in Australia, was crowned the winner this week. The announcement saw millions of viewers who were captivated by the little contestants flood the internet with heartwarming messages of happiness and appreciation.
Georgia has Sri Lankan roots and is immensely proud of her heritage. In the final episode of the show, she cooked a pork curry, cashew curry, eggplant curry, plus yellow rice, pappadums and cucumber raita for her main.
Her dessert, which she named ‘Tropical Mess’ had five elements: toasted coconut ice cream, brown bread crumb, Davidson plum pearls, Davidson plum meringues and a lemongrass granita. “It’s a blend between Sri Lankan and Australian – a bit like me!” Georgia explained to the judges.
While contestants on the grown up version of the show may be tempted to whip up fancy meals with French names, the little kids on Junior MasterChef have always preferred to do things their own way. For Georgia, that meant going back to her Grandma’s Sri Lankan recipes, which she has always enjoyed relied on throughout the show. And those dishes were enough to convince the judges that they had finally found their winner!
Having first started cooking when she was around three years old, Georgia was inspired to take up the craft after watching her family gather in the kitchen to cook. Curiosity took over, and she has been cooking ever since.
Georgia has previously credited her grandmother for teaching her to cook.
“I’m very close to my Nanna and my Papa,” Georgia said on the show, explaining she’s also learnt to make dishes that reflect her cultural heritage.
“They’re both Sri Lankan. My Nanna taught me how to make lots of different Sri Lankan food.”
On the final episode of the show, the kids also showed surprising maturity in dealing with their mishaps, teaching adults a thing or two about dealing with emotions. Out of all the contestants, Georgia actually had the toughest time. Though her curries were the standout in the main course, her dessert literally fell apart. The base split, the ice cream didn’t set properly. She started to lose it. Her mum yelled out, “You can do it, my angel,” and she replied, heartbroken, “No I can’t.”
“I always try to get everything right but that’s not how life works,” Georgia said. After a hug from her mum, she managed to get the final elements on the plate.
Ultimately, the judges said the decision came down to “pure deliciousness”. And on that, Georgia just couldn’t be beaten.
After winning, Georgia said she’s not too sure what she’ll do with the AUD 25,000 prize money, but said she will definitely use it for something fun and food-related.
“I’ll have access to it when I’m 18 so I have seven years to think about it,” she said. “I’m thinking travel and starting a food stall.”