MasterChef Australia’s Top 10 Class of 2018 is now complete. With a record five immunity pins already awarded and high praise given by some of the most respected local and international guest chefs, including Nigella Lawson and Gordon Ramsay, the class of 2018 continues to impress.
Judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston have been blown away by the calibre of this season’s contestants, who have already triumphed in some of the most complicated challenges seen in the ten-year history of MasterChef Australia.
With the coveted title of Australia’s MasterChef 2018 up for grabs and some amazing guests and chefs still to come – including His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Peter Gilmore and Heston Blumenthal – the stage is now set for an intense competition in the run home to Finals Week and The Grand Final.
Masterchef’s top 10 for 2018 are
Ben Borsht, 31, Queensland, Builder
The ultimate warrior in blacks, Ben has so far survived seven elimination challenges including three feared pressure tests. A slow starter in the MasterChef Australia kitchen, he was one of Nigella Lawson’s top three in the invention test with his chili vodka crab, but wasn’t tasted in a mystery box until week seven with a crumbed lamb cutlet. He won Adriano Zumbo’s mystery box the following week, and with a slow and steady manner he has got everything at his feet to now go all the way.
Brendan Pang, 24, Western Australia, Social Worker
Loved by fans, his fellow contestants and judges alike, this humble and sweet Broome social worker as had a rocky road to the Top 10 – eliminated in Curtis Stone’s meat challenge at the end of week five. He fought his way back into the competition a fortnight later and hasn’t looked back, already surviving the death by chocolate wheel set by Kristen Tibballs last night.
Chloe Carroll, 28, Queensland, Nutritionist
Like her fellow remaining Queensland contestant, Chloe has survived the most elimination challenges this season – matching Ben with seven including four pressure tests. A lover of healthy, wholesome food, Chloe has carved her niche making tasty Asian classics, but showcased her sweet skills last week taking out the croquembouche 2.0 invention test alongside Kristen.
Jess Liemantara, 19, Victoria, Waitress
The youngest in the competition with a delectable passion for sweet treats, Jess has wowed the judges with her poise and precision under pressure. She nailed Katherine Sabbath’s birthday cake pressure test last week, and has survived four other eliminations including a close call at Maggie Beer’s in South Australia where she battled in all three rounds, ultimately defeating Jenny. She has been tasted in three mystery box challenges without a
win, but knows she has what it takes to take home the coveted trophy.
Khanh Ong, 25, Victoria, DJ
Resident DJ Khanh had his best week in South Australia, winning the farmers pantry, which took him into the immunity challenge against head chef of Lofty House, Jin Choi. He won the coveted pin after choosing to hero vegemite and since then has survived two eliminations. There is every indication Khanh has now found his feet in the MasterChef Australia kitchen, he is cooking better than ever before and shows no signs of slowing down.
Kristen Sheffield, 27, South Australia, Urban Planner
Kicking off Nigella Week with a bang, Kristen won the mystery box challenge, securing her seat to London to have high tea with the domestic goddess herself. She has battled it out in three immunity challenges and only had to face the feared blacks twice, nailing Nigella’s trifle taste test and then Gordon’s surprise pressure test featuring culinary legend Matt Abe. With confidence now firmly in her back pocket, Kristen has no intentions of walking away just yet.
Reece Hignell, 28, New South Wales, Recruitment Consultant
Like Jess, Reece has thrived in dessert challenges this season, a fan of sweet treats and delights. It would be remiss to underestimate him as a one trick pony, with wins in Gordon Ramsay’s burger invention test, and week seven’s spaghetti bolognaise invention test. He has battled four times for an immunity pin, and secured one against Amaru’s John Rivera, sparing himself for a future elimination. As one of just two contestants still holding a pin, time will tell how far he can go.
Samira Damirova, 36, Western Australia, Stay at Home Mum
Quiet but confident, Samira has paved the way for Azerbaijani cuisine this season, wowing the judges and her fellow contestants with her bread baking skills. She has been named top of the pack three times during invention tests including the feared honey relay in week five. She has survived four eliminations including her mentor and idol Maggie Beer’s apple tarte tatin, which she described as the highlight of her competition so far.
Sarah Clare, 33, NSW, Stay at Home Mum
Mum Sarah has given it all up with her son Elvis to cook in the MasterChef Australia kitchen, and she is not about to let it go lightly. A strong survivor in blacks she has battled six elimination challenges, but been tasted in four Mystery Box’s including a victory with her inspired carrots dish in week five. She is yet to cook off against a professional chef in an immunity challenge, but with her star on the rise she has her sights firmly on the Grand Finale.
Sashi Cheliah, 39, South Australia, Prison Officer
The undisputed favourite of the Top 10, Sashi has been tasted four times in mystery boxes, securing himself two wins. He has battled an incredible six times in an immunity challenge, taking home a record-breaking two pins by defeating both Gavin Hughes and Andy Harmer. His only downfall may be his lack of experience in blacks. He survived Nigella’s trifle challenge but opted out of Katherine Sabbath’s pressure test this week by using a pin. While he is still wearing one gold pin on his apron, it is anyone’s guess how far this father of two can go.