Emma Dean.
Emma Dean. Channel 10

Emma's the MasterChef winner with her chicken dinners

EMMA Dean has a bright new future ahead of her in the food industry.

The former town planner was crowned the fifth-ever winner of MasterChef Australia in tonight's two-hour grand final.

The 32-year-old battled through three high-pressure rounds of cooking against fellow finalists Lynton Tapp and Samira El Khafir.

With a score of 85, four points ahead of Tapp, Dean was awarded the title.

 She takes home a $100,000 cash prize, an Alfa Romeo Giulietta, a New Holland publishing book deal and the opportunity to work in the kitchens of some of Australia's best chefs.

In the first two rounds, Dean cooked with chicken as her main protein before facing off against Tapp in the final "Plight of the Bees" dessert pressure test.

"I just can't believe it; it really hasn't sunk in yet," Dean said.

"I can't wait to head out into the food world and make this restaurant a reality."

Tapp and El Khafir a both received American Express cash grants of $20,000 and $10,000 respectively, to help with their food plans.

Dean has already purchased a second-hand commercial kitchen and is now looking for a space she can open her restaurant with her boyfriend, Dan.

Emma Dean with judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston.
Emma Dean with judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston. Channel 10


MasterChef Australia grand final breakdown

ROUND ONE - Invention Test - Perfection

Contestants had 90 minutes to create three plates of their perfect dish.  Each dish was to be identical, and they had the opportunity to practice the dish in the days leading up to the finale. 

 Samira - confit salmon tartar with crispy salmon skin, remoulade and pickled vegetables

"An almost perfect reinvention of roast chicken - and they are very hard to find" - Matt Preston

Gary:  8/10

George:  9/10

Matt: 9/10



Emma - roast chicken with truffles and seasonal vegetables

"An almost perfect reinvention of roast chicken - and they are very hard to find" - Matt Preston

Gary : 9/10

George : 8/10

Matt: 9/10



Lynton - eye fillet with cauliflower puree, onion jam and winter vegetables

"What I liked about your dish - was everything" - Matt Preston

Gary : 10/10

George: 10/10

Matt : 10/10



ROUND TWO - Service Challenge - Run your dream restaurant

The contestants each had to run a service at their dream restaurant, serving 20 customers a dish befitting their restaurant's signature style.  They had three hours for prep, one hour for service and their dish had to feature chicken. 


Emma - Farmgate restaurant - chicken gratin with salt crusted baked potato

Gary: 8/10

George: 7/10

Matt:  8/10



Samira - Middle Eastern restaurant - roast chicken with spiced pomegranate stuffing and pumpkin puree.

Gary: 7/10

George:  7/10

Matt: 8/10



Lynton - Top-end restaurant - sambal chicken with green mango salad

Gary:  7/10

George: 7/10

Matt: 7/10



Running totals:

Lynton: 51

Emma: 49

Samira: 48


ROUND THREE - Pressure Test  - Plight of The Bees

Lynton and Emma are given the final challenge presented chef Ben Shewry of Attica, who delivered what was possibly the most complex dessert ever brought into the MasterChef kitchen: The Plight of the Bees.

While Lynton received praise for his granita, his meringue lacked crunch and his cream was slightly grainy.  As the judges put their spoons into Emma's dessert, the desired crunch was heard breaking through the meringue layer and her whipped cream was spot on. Her only undoing was a slight tear on her pumpkin top, and the grated freeze dried apple could have been slightly more generous.



Gary : 9/10

George: 9/10

Matt: 9/10

Ben: 9/10

TOTAL:  36



Gary: 7/10

George: 8/10

Matt: 8/10

Ben: 7/10




Emma: 85

Lynton: 81