Katie Holland is the Rotorua Daily Post deputy editor

Masterchef's skill up for highest bidder

How much would you pay for dinner cooked by a Masterchef?

That will be the question on May 22 when one table of Supper Club guests will get to enjoy dinner cooked by 2012 Masterchef winner Chelsea Winter.

The annual fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald Family Retreat consists of a charity auction followed by tables being randomly allocated to one of 29 Rotorua restaurants at which to dine that evening.

This year a special dinner will be auctioned, with the highest bidder taking their table to the Ngongotaha retreat, where Ms Winter will be chef. It follows a successful auction last year with 2011 winner Nadia Lim.

Ms Winter said when she was asked to take part she researched the retreat, which hosts families with chronically ill children.

"It seems like a good thing to do for a worthy cause."

She said she planned to cook guests recipes from her first cookbook At My Table, released this month.

The menu hasn't been confirmed, but slow-cooked lamb shanks were a possibility for the main course as they were perfect for colder nights, she said.

It's been a whirlwind year for Ms Winter since she beat competitors including Rotorua's Charlene McGechan to win the TVNZ show.

She's travelled the country appearing at food shows and festivals, become an ambassador for New Zealand Beef & Lamb and Kim Crawford Wines, and got married.

"It's been so much fun, I have to pinch myself sometimes."

Seeing her completed book for the first time was the culmination of six months' work, she said.

"I stared at it for a few minutes in disbelief... it hit home that this is what my life is now."

She admits she has the current Masterchef series on series link and reckons "they're all really good". But a favourite for the title?

"Aaron seems unflappable and that gets you a long way."

There are a few tickets left for the Supper Club - contact Linley Parry on 027 5517 096 for tickets.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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