Kate Bracks was named on Sunday night as the winning contestant in the Ten Network's popular reality series MasterChef Australia for 2011.
The stay-at-home mother-of-three from Orange in New South Wales' Central West defeated the favourite Michael Weldon from Adelaide in the two-hour grand finale.
With three rounds of challenges - consisting of a mystery box, an invention test and a pressure test - Bracks received 87 out of 100 to beat Weldon's score of 82.
Bracks, 36, walks away with a cash prize of $100,000, a cookbook publishing deal and the opportunity for work experience in a number of Australian restaurants.
Dedicating the win to her family, Bracks said that she planned to fulfil her dream of opening a food-oriented bed-and-breakfast in her hometown.
"I feel relieved I've made it to the end and I feel incredibly blessed to have this experience," she said.
"I guess it means life will never be the same again for our entire family. It means there will be opportunities perhaps that I've never, ever dreamed of and it's opened up a new door for my life."
Bracks also thanked viewers for their encouragement: "Thank you for all your support, understanding when the cooking hasn't gone so well and just being so warm and positive with all of us contestants."
However, the news wasn't all bad for Weldon, who was offered a three-month culinary scholarship at judge Gary Mehigan's restaurants in Melbourne.
"I walked into here today knowing that whatever happened I would be happy," said the 25-year-old film projectionist.
"I can't think of a more deserving winner than Kate. She has cooked so well, particularly in the final challenges. I just wasn't good enough to beat her - and that's how it works."
With the competition complete, attention has now shifted as to how the grand final will rate. Most have predicted that the final episode will rate substantially lower than the conclusions to the previous two seasons; audiences are down on average 30 per cent year-on-year.
Both Seven and Nine upped their attack on the reality giant this year with supersized editions of their reality hits Australia's Got Talent and The Block respectively. Ten's decision to split the final night with an episode of The Renovators - which has struggled to retain the lead-in audience of MasterChef - has also drawn criticism.
Some viewers took to social networking sites Facebook and Twitter at the end of the finale to complain that the winner announcement aired too late at close to 10:00pm.
Meanwhile, Ten has already begun casting for the fourth season of MasterChef Australia to air in 2012. Those interested are encouraged to apply online via the show's website.
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