This comes a little late now - but this was my column from after the MC finale.
WHAT did everyone get up to Sunday night? If you happened to spend half the evening tuned into Channel 10, I don't think you would have been alone. The juggernaut that was MasterChef season 2 is done and dusted and I actually feel a little sad.
It was June last year, in the middle of a particularly heinous exam block, that I decided to put in my application. Auditions were in October - and then, in what has seemed like a blink of an eye, the show has wrapped.
It was such a fantastic program to be involved with. It's been said half a million times but everyone involved, from cast to crew to executive producers, are all down-to-earth, lovely people.
For me, the best moments all happened off-camera. Put 24 big personalities in a house together and things are bound to get interesting. Some of my highlights were: all of us letting off steam by dancing to the Katy Perry theme song one night; neighbours that threatened to call not the police but The Herald Sun newspaper with their noise complaints; our opulent Chinese New Year feast prepared together under instruction from Adam, Alvin and Marion; Jake having midnight barbecues; and Jimmy making a big batch of his amazing chai tea for everyone at night.
Moving back into my share house now, my old housemates can't believe how clean I am. I'd contribute at least 50 per cent of that improvement to Jono for always getting up Callum, Matt and I about our mess (we still love him though).
Heading back for the finale felt like a big family reunion.
Adam made a great point last week about MasterChef being about more than cooking. For the contestants, there's a huge personal development side to the competition as well. Being away from your home environment and having so much down time on set can turn into a bit of a luxury.
It's true time out from your own little world can afford you enormous amounts of perspective.
It's such a thrill when people tell me that MasterChef has made them cook more or, even better, it's made their children excited about food. Children these days are 10 times better at cooking than I was - which in turn makes me extremely excited about Australia's future food scene.
I feel incredibly lucky to have been involved with the show and can't wait to see next year's batch go through. How the producers will make it bigger than this season, I have no idea.
Huge congratulations to Adam. Both he and Callum are fantastic cooks and were deserving contenders for the title.
I think it's clear they both have promising food careers ahead of them.
So, if you were a MasterChef fan, I hope we've all entertained you. Thank you for tuning in and I'm sorry about all the tears - we tried to hold them back. Or at least we did most of the time. I'm off to bake a croquembouche to celebrate.
*Published by Courier Mail, TUE 27 JUL 2010, Page 026