MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites Top 24 announced 

MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites Top 24 announced 

Returning for its mammoth 14th season, MasterChef Australia is back with a bang, with 12 returning contestants up against 12 everyday home cooks in MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites.

Judges Jock Zonfrillo, Andy Allen and Melissa Leong, are excited to challenge contestants and thrilled to watch as the Favourites carve out the kitchen against the next batch of hopefuls.

Welcoming back MasterChef’s favourite mum and inaugural winner Julie Goodwin, the
Favourites boast an array of superstar cooks including fellow winners Billie McKay (Season 7) and
Sashi Cheliah (Season 10). They’ll be joined by Alvin Quah (Season 2), Michael Weldon (Season 3)
Mindy Woods (Season 4), Christina Batista (Season 5), Sarah Todd (Season 6), John Carasig (Season 7), Aldo Ortado (Season 10); and fresh from last season, Minoli De Silva and Tommy Pham.

But make no mistake, they’re up against a formidable team of Fans who bring an eclectic array of knowledge across cuisines, techniques and trends. Although their chosen professions include dentistry, teaching, finance, firefighting and TikTok, our fans are here to prove they have what it takes to claim victory.

Brisbane TikTok influencer, Montana Hughes (@monmackfood), may have amassed over 8 million views on one TikTok video, but how will she fare when she comes up against one of her biggest cooking inspirations, MasterChef Australia Season 7 winner Billie McKay?

As a professional firefighter, Northern Territorian Daniel Lamble knows what it takes to stay calm under pressure, but will the lunches he prepares for his fellow fireys and skills learnt on YouTube measure up to the prowess of the returning Favourites?

Melburnian barista and coffee roaster, Harry Tomlinson credits her creativity in the kitchen to necessity, having to cook delicious yet affordable meals for her housemates. Will Harry’s out of the box thinking challenge the years of experience that the Favourites bring to the table?

Our Fans and Favourites will be put to the test like never before, as the MasterChef kitchen, the great equaliser, continues to expose the strengths and weaknesses of all who enter its doors. The winner, be they Fan or Favourite, stands to walk away with not only a life-changing experience and the title of Australia’s MasterChef 2022, but $250,000 in prize money. We’re thrilled to introduce the MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites Class Of 2022:

FAVOURITES

Julie Goodwin, NSW @_juliegoodwin Previous Season: Season 1 Winner
It’s been an incredible journey for Julie Goodwin since becoming the first-ever winner of MasterChef Australia in 2009. A native Sydneysider, Julie’s first career was as a youth worker. Following her MasterChef Australia victory, Julie became a regular staple on television, began regular recipe columns and has written multiple cookbooks.

Billie McKay, NSW @billie_mckay15 Previous Season: Season 7 Winner
After being crowned the winner of MasterChef Australia Season 7, Billie moved to London to take up an offer to work in Heston Blumenthal’s famed three-Michelin star restaurant, The Fat Duck. On returning home she continued to pursue her love of cheesemaking on the family dairy farm. Billie’s husband and two-year-old daughter Ada are at home cheering her on.

Sashi Cheliah, South Australia @sashicheliah Previous Season: Season 10 Winner
One of just three Favourites who know what it’s like to hold aloft the coveted trophy at the Grand Finale, Sashi went on to open successful restaurants in Melbourne and Adelaide, and cheered loudly as his son Ryan competed in Junior MasterChef Australia. Sashi aims to once again wow his fellow contestants and judges with his take on the Indian, Malaysian and Chinese cooking of his youth.

Aldo Ortado, NSW @aldoortado Previous Season: Season 10
Sharing food was the key to Aldo Ortado’s warm childhood growing up in the Italian province of Bacoli. Following his Season 10 MasterChef Australia journey, Aldo appeared on television in numerous cooking segments, and opened pop up restaurants in Sydney. Aldo wants his fellow contestants to be under no illusion, he’s back to win.

Alvin Quah, NSW @alvinquah_ Previous Season: Season 2
Remembered for his funky glasses and delectable drunken chicken, MasterChef Australia Season 2 favourite Alvin Quah is determined to charm and cook his way to Finals Week. Known for his fun and animated approach to cooking, Alvin remains on a mission to increase awareness of Malaysian cuisine.

Christina Batista, NSW @christina_batista Previous Season: Season 5
Christina Batista credits her large Portuguese family with encouraging her creativity in the kitchen. It’s an obsession which led Christina to Season 5 of MasterChef Australia, where she made it to Finals Week. Immensely proud of her achievement, make no mistake she intends to take it all the way and take home the illustrious trophy this season.

John Carasig, Victoria @johncarasig Previous Season: Season 7
Strongly influenced by his Filipino heritage and renowned for his precision desserts, since leaving MasterChef Australia Season 7, John has also cooked extensively with Italian flavours and techniques. It’s this all-round approach to cuisines, styles and flavours that cement John’s place as one to watch in the competition.

Michael Weldon, Victoria @michael_weldon Previous Season: Season 3
Encouraged on a dare to enter Season 3 of MasterChef Australia, Michael Weldon not only made it to the Top 24 but came in second place. Michael has fully immersed himself in food since last appearing on the show, working as a chef and restaurateur at multiple venues, appearing on television and now working at Coles as an ambassador and Senior Development Chef developing products.

Mindy Woods, NSW @msmindywoods Previous Season: Season 4
Mindy Woods is back in the MasterChef kitchen to showcase world class ingredients and dishes. A proud Bundjalung woman of the Widjabul Wia bul clan, Mindy has a strong desire to connect indigenous and non-indigenous people with Aboriginal culture, art and stories through food, and to increase awareness and encourage the use of the world’s oldest living ingredients.

Minoli De Silva, Northern Territory @minoli.desilva Previous Season: Season 13
The fourth contestant eliminated last season (Season 13), Minoli later won her apron back in the second chance cook, cooking her way to 10th place. Minoli used her time since her departure to host pop up restaurants and run cooking classes back home in Darwin, with top restaurant experience now under her belt, she’s one to watch for the Favourites.

Sarah Todd, Victoria @sarahtodd Previous Season: Season 6
It’s been a whirlwind journey for Sarah Todd since wowing the judges and audiences in Season 6 of MasterChef Australia. An in-demand international chef, restaurateur, TV host, speaker, and entrepreneur with classical skills honed from Le Condon Bleu and a passport filled with culinary expeditions.

Tommy Pham, NSW @tommyphameats Previous Season: Season 13
Fan favourite Tommy Pham is back in the MasterChef kitchen, keen to prove that seventh place last season isn’t enough for this superstar cook. After amazing the judges with his fresh, vibrant Vietnamese-style flavours week in and week out, Tommy has taken the time to learn new skills and techniques, ready to take it all the way to Finals Week.

FANS

Ali Stoner, Victoria @rovinghaggis Occupation: Artist
A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Ali Stoner says she intends to give nothing less than 150% in the famed MasterChef kitchen. Proud mum to Maggie and Evie, Ali is an artist, working in both kiln formed glass and paint. With a leaning to savoury over sweet cooking, Ali says her greatest skill in the kitchen will be her instinctive creativity.

Jenn Lee, Queensland @plsfeed_jenn Occupation: Dentist
Born in Taiwan as the middle of three girls, Jenn Lee and her family moved to Brisbane when she was six. Each year the family returned to Taiwan for holidays, and Jenn says she loved learning cooking skills from her grandmothers during those trips. Jenn is adept at both savoury and sweet cooking and has a love of learning.

Chris Tran, Victoria @culinography.ct Occupation: Marketing Advisor
Few can boast the culinary ace up their sleeve like Melbourne’s Chris Tran. Chris’ dad was a trained chef who specialised in European dishes and his Mum prepared hearty and traditional Vietnamese food for the home. Cooking has allowed Chris to reconnect with his Vietnamese heritage, his signature dish is banh cuon, Vietnamese steamed rice noodles.

Daniel Lamble, Northern Territory @_instalamb Occupation: Firefighter
After finishing high school Daniel worked in the mines as a FIFO worker for three years before landing is dream job as a firefighter. Routinely tasked with preparing lunch and dinner for his fellow fireys, Daniel credits his dad with teaching him the basics, and anything more advanced from YouTube videos and television cooking programs.

Dulan Hapuarachchi, Victoria @thisisdulan Occupation: Financial Analyst
For father of two Dulan Hapuarachchi, nothing is more important than family. Born in Sri Lanka’s busy capital Colombo, Dulan was the youngest of three kids when his family picked up and migrated to Australia at the age of 11. Dulan one day hopes to open a Sri Lankan inspired caféstyle restaurant with his wife who is a cocktail connoisseur.

Harry Tomlinson, Victoria @big.yummers Occupation: Barista And Coffee Roaster
With dreams of one day becoming a food writer, Harry Tomlinson says food is her greatest comfort. Harry works with speciality coffee and has worked in the hospitality industry since she was 16. With a passion for food and a gut for taste and flavours, Harry trusts her intuition in the kitchen.

Keyma Vasquez Montero, Victoria @keymav Occupation: Stay At Home Mum
Hailing from the small Venezuelan town of Ciudad Guayana, Keyma Vasquez Montero recalls every family gathering of her childhood centring around food. Keyma dreams of representing the Latin and Spanish community on MasterChef Australia. Keyma is proud mum of 12-year-old Bella and nine-year-old Osvaldo.

Matt Landmark, Victoria @mattstication Occupation: Secondary Teacher
As a child, Matt’s family dinners were simple with a limited budget to explore different cuisines. Matt remembers buying fresh coriander while living in a share house, blown away by the flavour, it marked the turning point in his cooking journey. Matt can regularly be found reading cookbooks, working on new techniques, and seeking feedback on ways to improve.

Max Krapivsky, Victoria @mkrap Occupation: Osteopath
It’s fourth time lucky for Max in the MasterChef kitchen, after applying on three previous occasions. Crediting his Russian grandmother Rita with his link to his Russian heritage, Max says she was an exceptional cook. He dreams of one day opening his very own dine-in bottle-o, an Aussie-centric wine and beer local with a small rotating chalk-board menu.

Melanie Persson, Western Australia @theveryhungrycoeliac Occupation: PhD Student
Melanie Persson is on a mission to show gluten free food can still pack a punch. Diagnosed with coeliac disease five years ago, she admits there was a learning curve. Largely self-taught from television cooking shows and social media, she dreams of publishing cookbooks that show how to prepare beautiful, complex dishes that don’t compromise on flavour.

Montana Hughes, Queensland @monmackfood Occupation: TikTok Influencer
This season’s youngest competitor and TikTok sensation is keen to prove age is no barrier in taking out the coveted trophy. Fondly recalling making pikelets alongside her grandma and scrambled eggs as a child with her Mum, Montana’s life now revolves around cooking and preparing meals for her family and friends.

Steph Woon, Victoria @stephwoon Occupation: Banking Analyst
The oldest of three daughters, Steph’s parents immigrated from Malaysia, and she says food has always brought them together. From a young age Steph held a passion for all things Japanese and it’s that passion for travel that has developed into Steph’s food dream, to one day open a patisserie serving Japanese and southeast Asian inspired cakes and pastries.

MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites.
Premieres Monday, 18 April At 7.30pm. On 10 And 10 Play On Demand.