At the time when he joined MasterChef, Khanh was working as a DJ and a stylist hoping to make something of himself in the culinary industry.
While he made the semi-finals, Khanh was cut before the top three. But that was enough to kick-start his career as a chef, something he’d been passionate about for quite some time.
Growing up as a refugee in Australia, Khanh took over his father’s butcher shop after his untimely passing from cancer, and had a foot in the world of food ever since.
“Dad would have been so proud, he would have been so happy,” Khanh admitted on MasterChef.
“My family has always been a massive support for me. When it comes to cooking, I feel like cooking is all about your memories and your emotions and that’s why half of us do what we do.
“It’s because it takes us to a place that is comforting.”
MasterChef created opportunities for Khanh, leading to a business partnership at restaurant The George on Collins, a book deal and a few further television appearances.
“I would have stuck with my vlogging and writing a food blog and hoped it would lead me somewhere, but MasterChef opened doors a lot quicker, and if you’re a determined contestant you can get things happening much faster,” he told Domain.
In the following years, Khanh continued to build more of an online presence, and began to speak quite candidly about his experiences growing up as a refugee.
“I feel as though when you grow up as a refugee, you pretend that everything is great. You pretend that everything is fine but there is a little part of you that just wants to be like every single other person, and I don’t want anyone to feel that …,” he said of his experience growing up.
“We are all different, but that should be celebrated.”
However, Khanh faced further difficulties with his culture as he realised he was gay.
“Being gay in our culture isn’t really a thing, so that was hard for me … it’s hard enough growing up gay, but then there’s this whole refugee element. No one grows up choosing to be an outcast or picked on – it just happens,” he told TV WEEK.
With more experience under his belt, Khanh returned for MasterChef: Back to Win in 2020.
While he didn’t win, Khanh claimed it might not be the end of his reality TV career, so long as the drama was kept to a minimum.
“I don’t think I would do anything that was heavily drama-based, just because I don’t think I need it in my life,” he told Now to Love.
“If I did another show, it would probably have to be another show that was … about celebrating individuals, rather than elevating the drama.”
While Australian Survivor does have its fair share of drama, it is also known for celebrating individuals. And given the theme of this season, Khanh will not be entering Survivor alone.
His sister, Amy, a beautician, will be playing alongside him. Khanh has called Amy "the most beautiful, intelligent, amazing person ever."
“We are polar opposites – I don’t know how we’re friends,” he said while promoting their season. “I honestly think my sister is more likely to win sole survivor, because she’s just more likeable.”
However, Khanh might be the one to remove her from the show, having said “What is a better way of winning Survivor than saying, ‘I cut my own family member to get to the end’?”
WATCH: First Look At Australian Survivor: Blood V Water
While Khanh and Amy claim to know Survivor inside and out, Amy’s social game might be their biggest asset.
“The other players should definitely not underestimate me,” Amy has said. “Don’t take me for what I seem on surface level, because there’s much more to me than that.”
Will Khanh or Amy make it to the end and take out sole survivor? We’re very keen to see!
Australian Survivor: Blood V Water airs Monday to Wednesday, and Sunday, 7:30pm on 10.