MasterChef Australia’s Billie McKay Spills On Her ‘Silent Assassin’ Strategy

Image courtesy of Channel 10
MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites contestant Billie McKay
Former MasterChef Australia winner Billie McKay has proven she's firm competition after returning to the show for its 2022 Fans & Favourites season.
This time around, half of the contestants have competed in previous seasons, while the other half are amateur home cooks. The stakes have been higher for McKay though and she's felt more competitive, particularly because she has the title of ' 2015 winner' under her belt.
"I think it brings out a bit more of a competitive side of things because not only are you competing against all of these amazing cooks, but I had a bit of a title to defend," the 30-year-old tells Refinery29 Australia.
Speaking of titles, recently eliminated co-star Ali Stoner described McKay as a "silent assassin" in an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, and McKay agrees it could describe her strategy in the TV kitchen so far.
"Yeah, she's probably right," McKay laughs.
While she may not be the loudest of the personalities on the cooking reality show, she's managed to nail many challenges throughout this season so far, especially thanks to her intricate and unique desserts.
"I spent pretty much all of the downtime practising and trying to come up with new and interesting dishes because that's what I'd love to present to the judges — something that makes them think a little bit harder about food and push the envelope a little bit.
"I'm quietly competitive," says the self-confessed "introvert".
"I just didn't want to waste any any time there. I came back because I wanted to win so I was just doing everything possible to get there."
Image courtesy of Channel 10
Billie McKay cooking on MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites
After winning the show's seventh season in 2015, McKay worked at UK celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal's Michelin-starred restaurant, Fat Duck, for six months before coming back home and working on her family's dairy farm. Receiving the call asking her to return to the MasterChef franchise this year came at a "perfect time" for the mother-of-one.
"It sounds cliche and a bit boring, but it really has made me fall back in love with cooking and given me a bit more of a direction now," she says, "so I'm eternally grateful for that."
McKay is one of seven contestants remaining on the show which includes five favourites (returning MasterChef stars) and two fans (amateur cooks).
Image courtesy of Channel 10
MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites judges Melissa Leong, Jock Zonfrillo and Andy Allen
They are Julie Goodwin (Season 1), Alvin Quah (Season 2), Mindy Woods (Season 4), Sarah Todd (Season 6), Daniel Lamble and Keyma Vasquez Montero.
The previously eliminated contestants are Sashi Cheliah (Season 10), Michael Weldon (Season 3), Christina Batista (Season 5), John Carasig (Season 7), Aldo Ortado (Season 10), Minoli De Silva (Season 13), Tommy Pham (Season 13), Ali Stoner, Jenn Lee, Chris Tran, Dulan Hapuarachchi, Harry Tomlinson, Matt Landmark, Max Krapivsky, Melanie Persson, Montana Hughes and Steph Woon.
MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites airs Sunday to Thursday at 7:30pm on Channel 10 and 10Play.
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