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MasterChef’s lucky loser: Brenton Thornton

All’s well that ends well according to Brenton Thornton – the MasterChef contestant who narrowly missed out on a top three finish last season but walked away with a career in cooking anyway.

The former landscape gardener is now an apprentice at Simon Gault’s Euro restaurant on Princes Wharf in Auckland, a tour of duty that, when completed, will see him ply his new trade at Fish next.

We catch up with him to see how his new career is going.

How is the apprenticeship going, Brenton?

Yeah, the apprenticeship is going really well; it’s been a huge learning curve and a bit of a shock to the system but I’m definitely going to be at Euro for the full 12 months at least, and then off to Fish restaurant if I’m up to scratch.

Better than going back to landscape gardening?

Well, I’m currently doing both – I look after the Euro organic vege garden and farm. We’re growing a whole range of organic fruit and vegetables for the restaurant. It’s good to have a balance between the two.

What’s it like working with the likes of Simon Gault and Euro head chef Hayden Smith?

It’s really good – they’re both awesome teachers/mentors and have helped me immensely during the past eight months at Euro. Hayden and Simon have taught me invaluable skills and techniques that will help me for the rest of my career.

What’s it like watching the new season of MasterChef, knowing that this time last year you were on the show?

It’s pretty funny. It’s a bit awkward to watch at times but it’s always interesting to see what people come up with in the kitchen.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give an aspiring MasterChef contestant?

Work clean, work fast and study hard.

What’s your idea of the perfect last meal?

Freshly baked bread, heaps of butter and hot smoked kahawai.

What five ingredients would you not be able to live without?

Butter, salt, onions, garlic and potato.

What’s your favourite Auckland restaurant – besides Euro or Fish, of course?

Sapa Vietnamese Restaurant in Albany does some awesome dishes.

You might also enjoy our interview with another former contestant, Anthony McEntee – and his weekly MasterChef column.

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  1. Princes Wharf, Shed 22, 147 Quay Street, Auckland Central, Auckland




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