One of the first things Simon Toohey wants to do now his MasterChef journey is over is head back to Canberra.
Toohey finished third in Tuesday night's grand final, behind Larissa Takchi and Tessa Boersma, and already he's thinking about hitting up the bars and restaurants where he used to work when he was growing up here.
"I'm dying to come back," he says. "I haven't taken my partner Georgia there yet and she's keen too.
"We were meant to be there for a wedding during the show but because I was still in the house - and I didn't think I'd last that long - we didn't get there.
"I want to show Georgia everything I did, where I grew up, where I used to work, the schools I used to go."
He's not too disappointed that he came third.
"There are people who came second, third, fourth, fifth, 20th who are now doing everything they wanted to do," he says.
"It doesn't matter where they came, they're just working their arses off. For a lot of us, all MasterChef is, in the end, is a catalyst for us to confirm that food is where we want to be."
Toohey says not winning will give him greater scope to follow through on projects he is passionate about - raising awareness of minimising food wastage and working towards a more sustainable Australia.
He has some projects in the pipeline, but nothing is set in stone. He is still keen to open the vegan smokehouse restaurant he spoke about during the series.
Not to be drawn on the departure of the judges George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston, his official statement in the press release was: "The judges are brilliant and inspiring people. They support everyone, and through this support, they teach. By the end of my time in the MasterChef kitchen I had learnt more than I ever dreamed I would. I thank them from the bottom of my heart."
Toohey says he has kept in touch with fellow contestants Mandy Hall and Steph de Sousa.
"The two old chooks and I got along really well," he says.
He is proud that he cooked food that represented his philosophy, serving roasted beetroots and beet leaf puree; lobster with champagne caviar sauce; and pumpkin cake, pumpkin ice cream and earl grey tuile to a guest list that read like a who's who of the MasterChef family.
Present on the final night were Curtis Stone, Kirsten Tibballs, Maggie Beer, Jock Zonfrillo, Darren Purchese and Donovan Cooke plus MasterChef royalty Julie Goodwin, Andy Allen, Brent Owens, Diana Chan and Sashi Cheliah.
Toohey is ready for the next part of his food journey. But in the meantime he wants to get back to Canberra one weekend, catch a game of rugby at his old school Canberra Grammar, he's heard there's Pialligo bacon on the egg and bacon rolls, and hit up some old haunts.
"I can't wait to see where this all takes me."