University student Dan Tuddenham.
University student Dan Tuddenham. Network Ten

First cook sent home in MasterChef's battle of the sexes

THE youngest cook in the new series of MasterChef was the first to fall on the chopping block.

20-year-old university student Dan Tuddenham was sent home in the first elimination in the fifth series of the reality cooking show tonight.

"No one ever wants to be the first one (to go), and on the day it just happened to be me," Tuddenham said.

"It wasn't great, but I had a great time there."

 After drawing "the short straw" with goat ribs in last night's protein challenge, Tuddenham was forced to create a dish with the food left in the fridge from his share house.

"It's a classic uni student fridge," he laughed.

"When I left there was a fair bit of stuff in there, but it looked like a fair bit got eaten."

The Burrawang native sealed his fate when his caramel hardened to toffee in his salted caramel and chocolate ganache tart with Tim Tam ice-cream dessert.

He remains positive about his experience, which included his first visit to Melbourne, the new home of the show.

"The highlight for me was walking around the corner and seeing judges for the first time and knowing it was real," he said.

"Driving up to the MasterChef kitchen and seeing the big 'm', it was so surreal."

He said the show's "girls versus boys" debut, which has received a fair bit of attention in the media, was "just a bit of fun".

"We all just played up to the rivalry," he said.

"We had a lot of fun with it. Nobody took it as seriously as the media did."

Tuddenham plans to combine his passion for cooking with his university studies in primary teaching.

"I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family where food was a big thing," he said.

"I want to carry it on by teaching kids."

MasterChef Australia continues on Thursday at 7.30pm on Channel 10.

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