Sam Ciaravolo, 24
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They say a cat only has nine lives, and the proverb was proved right, as on his tenth elimination challenge, Sam Ciaravolo was booted out of MasterChef Australia.
Sam, Chris, Poh and Andre faced off in the pressure test after failing in the pairs Christmas in July challenge last night.
“If you don’t perform today, you miss that final day by a whisker,” Sam said before the challenge.
Andre felt responsible for putting his partner Poh in the bottom two as the judges loved her dish but didn’t like his offering.
Both Sam and Chris felt jointly responsible for their own place in the bottom.
It was the hardest pressure test so far; a “hard, complicated and technically difficult” caramelised pannacotta with passionfruit and macaroons.
“This dish can go dreadfully wrong,” said Gary Mehigan.
“Of all the challenges to go out on – This is the one to leave on,” said Matt Preston. “This one is an Everest we asked you to climb.”
Sam and Andre were bottom after Poh and Chris heard they were safe, but it was Sam’s time to leave
“I’m disappointed, I’m relieved, I’m happy, I’m sad – It’s mixed,” said Sam. “I let myself down in a couple of areas today. It was incredibly challenging dish for me and I think that showed up on the plate.”
Judge Matt Preston told Sam that he had been a gift in this competition, inspiring children, including Matt’s own 8 year old son to cook.
“I want to be a chef,” said Sam. “I’m not one yet but in 5-10 years time I’ll get there. My wife is going to be so proud of me and she won’t be able to believe what I’ve accomplished in this competition. I’m proud of myself. I’ve learnt heaps and I’ve done everything I hoped I could in this competition and ten times more.”
Sam is spending time with his new wife back in Melbourne, having put his marriage on hold to take part in MasterChef. He hopes to be a chef one day and is speaking to some of Melbourne’s leading chef’s about apprenticeships.