The MasterChef Australia kitchen might be a long way from milking cows, but it’s where Billie McKay knows she should be.
Growing up on a dairy farm in the peaceful, lush surrounds of New South Wales’ mid-north coast, Billie knows about hard graft. As one of five siblings, everybody was expected to pitch in with farming chores.
Billie would often cook dinner for the family, as well as preparing her famous chocolate slice, which she had memorised by age eight and taught her younger brother how to make.
While she looks up to chefs such as Maggie Beer, Heston Blumenthal, Adriano Zumbo and Stephanie Alexander, Billie counts her “superwoman” mum Alison as her main kitchen idol. Not only did Alison raise five young kids, work on the farm and serve beautiful family meals, she also taught her children to cook.
Billie is supported in pursuing her future in food by partner Haydn and aspires to be running her own restaurant by age 25.
Currently working as a restaurant manager in Ballina NSW, Billie says: “I love food and good service and I believe there is so much more to offer in the food industry. I’m constantly questioning the chefs in the kitchen, eager to learn more and more about food and cooking. I have so many ideas and know that my food knowledge can only grow from here.”
Billie says her own dream venue will serve “fresh, simple and local food that is respectfully prepared”.