Warner's Bay home cook and mother of four Steph De Sousa has been eliminated from MasterChef Australia, just shy of making it to the top 10.
De Sousa, a human resources specialist by trade, faced elimination alongside contestants Derek and Simon on Monday night.
In MasterChef first, the trio were forced to start a pressure test straight after the invention test.
As MasterChef judge Matt Preston warned them, it wasn't going to be a typical pressure test. It was a two-day cook.
Welcoming Kate Reid from Lune in Melbourne, the room erupted in cheers and applause as she carried in one of her coveted creations that the trio would be required to recreate.
Revealing her Black Forest Lune Croissant, the group were provided with the top-secret Lune croissant dough recipe and had 90 minutes to prepare the dough on day one, returning the next day to finish four croissants in two hours and 45 minutes.
De Sousa's big error came on the second day, when instead of keeping her croissant halves separate in the oven, she rejoined them with frangipane, causing them to remain runny and uncooked inside.
It was that balance that sent her home.
Reid said that De Sousa had nailed the beautiful golden colour and definition of layers, but unfortunately the frangipane was raw and akin to eating raw cake mixture.
The 45-year-old made her television debut during the season premiere of MasterChef Australia season 11on April 29.
Her dish, Pani Puri with chickpea marsala, tamarind paste and cucumber sauce, was given the tick of approval by Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Preston, moving her into the top 24.
Even last year's MasterChef winner, Sashi Cheliah, was impressed. When told she was cooking the dish from scratch, he responded with one word: "Wow".
Not only had De Sousa applied to appear on MasterChef on three previous occasions, she resigned from her job of 15 years to focus on the 2019 competition.
De Sousa said her life revolves around cooking.
"When I was very young I would help - or hinder, not sure which - my Grandma to bake. She would make bread, fruit buns, cakes and biscuits," De Sousa said.
"After I left home and started a family, I had to cook every day. It has never been a chore for me and I find it a great way to de-stress after a big day or to relax on the weekend.
"My husband Neville grew up in Goa in India and he exposed me to the world of Indian food and I have been learning about spices ever since."
Since leaving the MasterChef kitchen, De Sousa has begun to plan a cooking tour of India and is currently developing her own range of Indian spice mixes and meal kits.
She has launched her website, aptly named Spicy Steph.