REMINISCING: MasterChef’s Elena Duggan samples fresh produce from the Sunshine Coast Farm Foods of Noosa stall at the Eumundi Markets.
REMINISCING: MasterChef’s Elena Duggan samples fresh produce from the Sunshine Coast Farm Foods of Noosa stall at the Eumundi Markets. Greg Miller

MasterChef contestant returns home to familiar flavours of Noosa

THE Coast's own MasterChef in the making, Elena Duggan, is back home soaking up the sun.

The Noosa-raised cook is taking advantage of a production break from Channel 10's reality cooking show to spend a week at home with her family enjoying everything a Queensland winter has to offer.

The 32-year-old and her younger sister Alexandra, both of whom now live in Sydney, visited the Eumundi markets to buy up some local produce and enjoyed lunch at their favourite Hastings St eatery Bistro C.

"Our mother always used to take us to the Eumundi markets to buy fresh fruit and veg when we were growing up," Elena told the Daily.

"I like having a look at all the different food trucks and stalls that are there now. There are usually a few new ones every year."

Elena, who works as a high school arts teacher, has her younger sister to thank for making it on to MasterChef.

After being short listed for last year's season but failing to make judges' auditions, Elena spent the next year practising with mystery boxes and dinner challenges set up by Alexandra.

"Every night was practice for her, and I have plenty of friends who like to eat," Alexandra laughed.

"With my mystery boxes I always allowed her an easy, safe option if she was tired after a long day of work or something that would push and challenge her and she almost always wanted to challenge herself because she wanted to get better.

"I had no doubt she would get through."

All of the preparation paid off and now Elena has the cooking show's semi-finals in her sights.

Tonight's show will reveal whether or not she and the Coast's other local, Noosa coffee roaster Matt Sinclair, make the Top 10.

MasterChef airs at 7.30pm on Channel 10.


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