Kate’s in the master mix

TOP CHEF: Kate Bracks says the support of her family and friends has been vital to her success.
TOP CHEF: Kate Bracks says the support of her family and friends has been vital to her success.

BEING a mum to three young children proved the perfect training ground for Orange woman Kate Bracks who was named one of MasterChef’s top 24 contestants this week.

Mrs Bracks made one of the three best dishes in Monday night’s challenge which required contestants to cook the dish that changed their lives.

She admits to being somewhat surprised that her coffee cake, reminiscent of one she made as a small child in the 80s, was so well received by the judges.

“I decided to stick to the brief we were given and so far it’s worked out well for me,” Mrs Bracks said.

Mrs Bracks said her plan in the future is to try and strike a delicate balance between cooking the kind of dishes she’s familiar with and forcing herself to try cooking different things.

“I want to move out of my comfort zone, I’m in this to learn and grow and push myself a bit,” she said.

Mrs Bracks said the demands of family life meant she didn’t do as much preparation in the lead-up to the show as some of the other contestants.

“I had three little children to look after,” she said.

However preparing her family’s meals has also had it’s strategic advantages.

“I’ve often had to be creative with what I find in the fridge,” she said.

Her practise at being a “multi-tasking mum” also proved an advantage she said.

It was watching MasterChef’s previous series that prompted Mrs Bracks to enter this year’s competition.

“It just looked like so much fun and they learnt so much,” she said.

Despite her love of cooking Mrs Bracks said she wouldn’t be competing in MasterChef if she didn’t have the support of her family and friends, including those from the Orange Evangelical Church.

“I’ve got such a supportive network,” she said.

Even after a successful audition for the show it took an extra push from her husband Luke, a teacher at Orange Christian School, to remind her that she was up to the challenge ahead.

“He just told me not to let other things get in the way [of me doing this],” she said.

“I couldn’t have done the show without that support.”

Since being in MasterChef Mr Bracks, with help from his mother, and the family’s many friends, has managed to keep the Bracks’ household ticking along.

“He’s been juggling the works.”

Her children, who are aged eight, six and three didn’t take long to get used to seeing their mother on television.

“They take it in their stride,” she said.

“The three-year-old really has no idea [what’s going on] but the older two get very excited when they see me.”

On Monday night’s show contestants were told they’d make lifelong friends during the course of the competition and Mrs Bracks agrees.

Living in the house with the other 23 top contestants has been “very pleasant part of the whole experience”.