Geni Papacostas, the gorgeous 54-year-old from Brisbane in Channel 10’s Masterchef, has proved to be a great cook and a confident teacher.
As an avid lover of food her game plan “is to create a fantastic dish,” she revealed to Neos Kosmos English Edition.
“That way if you do your best and win for the team, you’ll never be eliminated,” she said.
The Masterchef contestant revealed that she had never intended to enter the competition.
“Believe it or not, because I always loved food and because all I talk about is food, my daughter entered me and I didn’t know until the last minute!”
Although the oldest contestant of the Masterchef house, Papacostas insists that she should win because of the extensive experience and patience that she has over her younger counterparts.
“I have a wide knowledge of food and I’m giving it my all. The younger generation has their chance but for me this is the last stop on the train.”
Raised in Athens before moving to Melbourne as a teenager, Papacostas developed a love of cooking from a very young age.
“I remember watching my grandmother in Greece when I visited the village and realised that cooking was an act of love.
“Whatever was created was out of poverty, yet everyone ate like a king.
“We used to be creative and make pita out of leeks and breadcrumbs; the best you had tasted in your life!”
Now living in Brisbane, Papacostas is known as the “woman who does the Greek cooking in town”.
In addition to lecturing hospitality science at Brisbane North Institute of TAFE and teaching cultural food studies at Albany Creek, she often caters and bakes cakes for family celebrations and community functions.
A true foodie, Papacostas admits to owning every edition of Gourmet Traveller and says that she has travelled the world several times for the sole purpose of culinary inspiration.
She has pulled apart dishes she has eaten at beautiful Italian restaurants and recreated them at home; she has explored her love of Thai food by attending cooking classes on the coast of Bali, and she has dragged her children for hour long walks to eat at Bill Granger’s iconic restaurant in Sydney.
So it is no surprise her food reflects a love of Mediterranean cuisine with a touch of spice, often drawing on the Smyrnian cuisine of her grandmother.
“My favourite dish to cook is a dish I made up with my mother, Youvetsi. It is a mix of blanched spinach, meat in tomato based sauce with pilafi, feta and olives.”
So what’s next in store for this potential Masterchef winner?
Although she won’t reveal whether or not she is one of the last few contestants currently left in the house, she says that she is recording her recipes in a cookbook and that she would like to open her own intimate dining space and cooking school.
“I am hoping to finish my cookbook this year which reflects the changing tastes that have developed over the generations, from my family in Greece to my children in Australia.”
Geni’s Masterchef Experience:
Andrew and Justine who call me Mamma G.
Most disliked contestant
Trevor, who I thought was really disrespectful of food.
Preparing a seafood banquet in one hour using a BBQ to cook everything for international chef Curtis Stone. I was the captain of the red team and we won the challenge!
Geni’s cooking tips:
- Always cook from the heart, it becomes an act of love that can create beautiful flavours.
- Buy fresh ingredients and never buy in bulk.
- Experiment more by using both sweet and sour flavours in the one dish.