“I AM just a girl from Bendigo who just won MasterChef,” Emma Dean laughed.
That was Ms Dean’s reaction when she was crowned the 2013 MasterChef champion on Sunday night.
The former Bendigo woman was up against Lynton Tapp and Samira El Khafir in the Network Ten finale extravaganza.
Ms Dean said during the finale she went through a rollercoaster of emotions.
“It is surreal and overwhelming,” she said.
“The finale definitely was a test of endurance, it was really incredible.”
Ms Dean scored nine out of 10 from judges Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris for her dessert in the third and final round to take out the coveted title.
The former Bendigo Senior Secondary College student said never in her wildest dreams did she imagine winning MasterChef.
Ms Dean said she had made a life-long friend in fellow contestant and second-place getter Lynton.
“We were so happy that the final task we had was a pressure test,” she laughed.
“We were both so tired and creatively exhausted. I am so proud of Lynton and was so happy to see him do well; I know he has worked so hard.”
For winning MasterChef Ms Dean was awarded $100,000 to follow her culinary dream, a cookbook deal and access to some of Australia’s best chef’s for work experience.
She also won an Alfa Romeo in a surprise twist.
The 35-year-old, who now calls Melbourne home, said the whole MasterChef experience was incredible.
“I was the last man standing,” she laughed.
“One of my favourite moments on the show was going to Paris with Matt Preston. That was pretty special.”
Ms Dean said work will now begin creating her first ever cookbook and opening up a restaurant.
“It’s really exciting,” she said.
“The book will be about using seasonal local ingredients.
“It is about using delicious food.”
Ms Dean said she would come back to Bendigo soon and thank all of her friends, family and fans for all the support they have given her throughout MasterChef.
“I will definitely be coming to Bendigo to see everyone,” she said.
“Everyone has been so great.”