SINGAPORE - She was one of the break-out stars of reality cooking contest MasterChef Australia, wowing judges with her mean cooking skills and yummy recipes.
But what made Madam Audra Morrice, 43, a distinguished finalist among the top three was her fluency in re-creating Asian cuisine to satiate the palates of her Western judges.
Having been born and bred in Singapore, Madam Morrice's style of food is eclectically Asian, drawing influence from her Chinese-Indian heritage.
"The Singaporean influence and my rich heritage are unusual (over in Sydney), so it's nice to take the authentic flavours of Asia over there," said the petite chef, who added that her one must-have ingredient is chilli.
On-screen, the Sydney-based cook is known for whipping up a pork-belly-and-egg-noodle dish, as well as a chocolate-and-raspberry tart in the fourth season of MasterChef Australia, which premiered last year.
But off-screen, Madam Morrice is better known for her beef rendang, which is derived from her mother's recipe. "The beef rendang is a dish that all my friends love. Every time I have to cook, they'll ask for the rendang," said the chef, who caters for her family and friends.
Having studied in Australia since she was 18, Madam Morrice later emigrated there, where she tied the knot with her college beau and now husband of 12 years.
The MasterChef finalist said that she is always getting requests from her two sons, Andre and Alex Anderson, eight and 10 respectively, on what to cook.
"It's usually laksa, lasagna or Asian fair consisting of rice, vegetables and a meat dish. The kids love tofu. Sometimes we have teppanyaki - it is fun and sociable; the kids like cooking and it's good to have them active in the cooking process," said Madam Morrice.