By Derek Schlennstedt
When she’s not whipping up a delicious curry in the kitchen, Sassafras resident Tati Carlin loves to spend her downtime studying history and reading the latest best-selling thriller.
And she’s hoping her own MasterChef journey is just as thrilling, aiming to hold the coveted trophy at the grand finale.
Tati, aged 49, grew up in in a small town in Indonesia and was raised by her paternal grandparents.
She described her grandmother as a great traditional cook who taught her the intricate mild and sweet curries traditional to Java and Indonesia, which she said she’ll be recreating for the competition.
“I used to help my grandma’s cooking when I was little and I always got excited when i could help her in the kitchen,” Tati said.
“In Indonesia we are a very strong community, so when it comes to a party or function the neighbours come to our house and everyone gives a hand and starts cooking, so I’d help my grandma and that’s how I started to build up my love for cooking since a very young age.”
“My grandma’s cooking was very Javanese style and had a lot of chillies, garlic, coconut and lemon grass, … it was very aromatic cooking and the whole house always smelt beautiful.”
Admitting Asian curries and cooking with intuition will be her strength in the MasterChef kitchen, Tati said following recipes was harder, and she worried about desserts and pressure tests.
“It’s very challenging to cook with the timer and camera around you and people cheering for you.
“I’m a home cook so I’m used to watching Netflix and taking my time, but you just have to focus on what you’re doing.”
“We will try to focus on our cuisine, who we are and what we love to eat on a day-to-day basis.”
MasterChef Australia premieres on Monday 29 April and Tati Carlin will be cooking for a chance to earn a coveted white apron.