Gina Shares Her Top Three MasterChef Memories
Plus what's next for the nation's nonna.
When Katherine Sabbath revealed her birthday cake pressure test, Gina Ottaway's jaw dropped.
"It was scary for me because I don't do well with pressure tests. My style of cooking is simple. I like recipes with six, maybe seven steps, some of these pressure tests have like 78," Gina told ten daily.
"Things started to go wrong but... I went in there fighting."
Despite being the oldest contestant in the 10th season, 54-year-old Gina never stopped fighting, and her simple style of cooking got her some of the season's biggest compliments.
"The first was the orange cake, yeah -- I made it a bit fancier because it's that simple," she said, adding, "I made other elements to go with it because I had plenty of time on my hands. It made the judges go weak at the knees!"
Her second favourite moment was cooking Yorkshire pudding for Gordon Ramsay. "I thought, 'What am I DOING?' But it turned out good, and George told me it was as good as the great chefs in London."
And finally, who could forget her schnitzel, which the judges called the best ever schnitzel in the MasterChef kitchen.
While the series celebrates amateur chefs striving to become as good as the professionals, Gina believes her style -- simple, nutritious food done well -- really resonated with the Aussie public.
"I can knock out fresh pasta in seven minutes," she told us, adding: "I have sauces that you can make in the time it takes your water to boil for your pasta".
Calling the response to the show "incredible", Gina said: "I've been so humbled and so blessed to be part of the show. I feel like that's the style of cooking the Australian public want. You want fancy cooking? Go to a restaurant!"
While the response was mostly positive, there was one person who refuses to let her back in the MasterChef kitchen: her two-year-old grandson.
"He said to me, 'Nonna, you tell MasterChef you can't go anymore'. He said I wasn't allowed to leave for that long again!"
Since leaving the competition, Gina has completed some work experience at Rick Stein's restaurant at Bannisters, and is working on setting up a pop-up at an Italian restaurant.
"I have a business name now, I'm known as Nonna G!" she told us, while also continuing to talk to nonnas around her area, collecting recipes and stories.
"I'm getting simple recipes, collaborating and putting them in a cookbook along with my own -- showing people it's not that hard! I want to bring back the simplicity in cooking, to make it economical for young families."
While her final pressure test was no piece of cake, Gina was still overwhelmingly positive about her whole experience.
"I actually said to Katherine, 'I'm so sorry for what I've done to your cake'. She told me I was a beautiful and humble soul and that just made my day. To have her see that through my food -- even if I made a mess of it."