Martin Philbey

Buderim baker earns sweet spot on MasterChef

ASHLEIGH Bareham's sweet side has earned her a spot on the new series of MasterChef.

The Buderim baker and childcare worker impressed the show's judges in last night's season seven debut with a sophisticated dessert.

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Ashleigh's coffee-poached pear stuffed with hazelnuts and marscapone ice cream was good enough to earn her a white apron, the symbol of making the reality cooking show's Top 24.

She needed the approval of all three judges - Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris - to make the cut.

"My audition dish was inspired by flavours I love to eat," Ashleigh told the Daily.

"The judges were very lovely and George especially was really nice. George talked a lot about my food dream and believing in what I wanted to do."

The Greek chef was impressed that Ashleigh, at just 23, had started up her own food stall.

"Doing the brownies made me want to pursue something in the food industry," she said.

"I love my desserts."

Ashleigh, now 24, moved to the Coast with her family from England when she was 14 and graduated from Chancellor State College.

She counts Heston Blumenthal, Maggie Beer and Darren Purchase as her food idols and hopes to one day open her own dessert bar.

"My food dream is to have my own dessert bar and coffee shop and run it with my mum and sister," she said.

"We would use local produce and have a constantly changing menu.''



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