PAVLOVA proved to be no piece of cake but her passion for cooking will always be on the menu for eliminated MasterChef The Professionals contestant Akuc Issac Chol.
The North St Marys resident has a few ideas on the boil and is working on her own range of chilli sauces and spices.
She also dreams of opening a home-style African restaurant.
"I hope to start off with a market stall," she told the Star. "I would love to have a restaurant in the city. Cooking has been a part of me since a young age "
The final 12 contestants had to reinvent the pavlova on a recent episode.
Judges Matt Preston and Marco Pierre White found Akuc's Swiss roll creation wasn't reinventive enough.
It was the first pavlova Sudanese-born Ms Issac Chol had made.
As the eldest girl of 11 children, Akuc was six when her family fled from Sudan to Egypt, before moving to Australia as refugees when she was 15.
"I'll eat it but I don't think I can ever make another pavlova," she joked.
The popular contestant has no regrets about her time on the show.
"It was the experience of a lifetime," she said. "I went on the program to challenge myself. People have started to notice me more."
The judges' praise for her lentil soup was her favourite MasterChef moment.
"It was something I grew up with and is part of my culture," Ms Issac Chol said.
She can't pick the winner and said there is more to the fiery Marco Pierre White than is portrayed on television.
"He was great to work with. He makes you work hard but he does have a soft side. I don't know who will win but whoever it is, will have deserved it," she said.
She studied commercial cookery at TAFE before beginning her apprenticeship at Spice Temple, and chef Neil Perry rated her among the best junior talents across his kitchens before she finished her apprenticeship at Lochiel House, Kurrajong Heights.