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Barossans showcase their culinary skills to the nation

Barossans showcase their culinary skills to the nation

Two Barossa Valley residents have graced national television screens with their outstanding cooking abilities to make the top 24 of the 2014 season of MasterChef.

Angaston mother of three, Mrs Tracy Collins thanks the Barossa’s very own queen of food, Mrs Maggie Beer for encouraging her to audition for this year’s season of the Channel Ten programme, while 51 year old owner of Flaxman Wines in the Eden Valley, Mr Colin Sheppard names his wife, Fiona, as his inspiration for joining the competition.

Tracy, a self taught cook, has been preparing food since the age of eight.

Now, at age 38, she is embarking on a journey that will showcase her skills in the kitchen all over Australia.

Tracy, an award winning hair stylist and seventh generation Barossan is married to husband Jaysen, a winemaker.

Together they have three children, daughter Finella, 11, and sons Harper, 8, and Charlie, 6.

As a child, Tracy enjoyed preparing meals with her grandparents, in particular, chicken and pearl barley soup.

Tracy’s dream is to open a communal Barossa eating house that focuses on honest food, shared plates and bringing people together, blurring the lines between restaurant and café.

She also dreams of beginning a range of cookbooks and products, as well as multiple food businesses.

Tracy’s food influences include Matt Wilkinson, Stephanie Alexander, Maggie Beer and Dave Thompson.

This season of MasterChef will be sure to present a host of challenges for the hairdresser, but Tracy is no stranger to facing difficulties.

Undeterred from chasing her dreams, the determined mother has bounced back from various life obstacles to become a role model for her children.

“You can overcome any obstacle if you put your mind to it and live life to the full with no regrets,” Tracy said.

“I no longer wish to live on the periphery of the food industry…I am now willing to ‘just do it’ and pursue my dreams.”

Colin, who lives happily in Eden Valley with Fiona, their dog Gus and four chooks, yearns to combine his passion for wine with his passion for food.

For the full story, grab the May 7 edition of The Leader.