Emotional twist to Zoe's Recipe to Riches win
MUM Zoe Wombwell couldn't have imagined how important her Recipe to Riches win would be when she auditioned for the reality food marketing show earlier this year.
Shortly after filming tonight's episode, the 35-year-old's son Xavier was diagnosed with leukaemia at just 10 months old.
Wombwell lived on the Sunshine Coast for 13 years before she and her partner Aaron moved to Newcastle after Xavier's birth to be closer to their families.
"Luckily filming had ended before he got the diagnosis," Wombwell told APN.
"He's been responding well to the chemo but there have been setbacks. Little kids have no immune system. A couple of weeks ago he contracted influenza and ended up in the ICU.
"It's been full-on, but he's doing well."
Her winning recipe for gourmet pork, sage and macadamia sausage rolls was inspired by the stuffing for her Christmas turkey.
The savoury snacks went on to become a favourite amongst family and friends and now, through the show, will be available at the deli section of Woolworths stores across the country for the next week.
As the winner of the show's bite-size category, Wombwell earned $10,000 and is now in the running for the $100,000 grand prize.
"It means a lot," she said.
"I was always doing this for my family and hopefully I can make a difference to some other families who are going through this. If I won the whole lot (the grand final) it would just mean a lot more now."
Her gourmet sausage rolls must sell better than the other 10 winning products to take out the grand prize and earn a permanent spot on supermarket shelves.
"I think there's a big gap in the market," she said.
"You only see gourmet sausage roll in the odd bakery, and they're usually just pork and fennel. This is something I can see would definitely do well and I want to keep on pursuing the dream."
Recipe to Riches airs Tuesdays at 7.30pm on Channel 10.