Reality TV

Masterchef Australia 2019: Meet the top 24 contestants

Who will capture the judges taste buds?
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The full line up of culinary hopefuls has been revealed ahead of the start of Season 11 of MasterChef Australia.

We take a look at the 24 wannabe chefs gearing up to plate up their best dishes for the judges.

Abbey Rose, 28, NSW

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Abbey views her day job as a buyer for Essential Ingredient as an advantage ahead of the competition.

The self-confessed seafood whizz dreams about opening up a cafe in the Hunter Valley where she’ll showcase seasonal produce and ways to reduce waste in the kitchen.

Anushka Zargaryan, 49, VIC

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Anushka relied on cooking shows to help show her new recipes before she had the language skills when she first arrived to Australia from Armenia 20 years ago.

The passionate foodie loves making desserts.

Ben Trobbiani, 24, SA

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Ben is hoping to run a café of his own one day. He describes his cooking style as modern Australian, although he is especially inspired by his dad’s love of Italian cooking.

Blake Werner, 23, VIC

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Blake has always had a love of food, owing to the fact his parents own a Spanish restaurant in Melbourne. The budding chef has cut his teeth behind the bar and front of house for the past few years.

Christina Laker, 29, QLD

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The mum-of-two has a passion for cooking, especially desserts and sweets, which was ignited as a small child when she would bake beside her mum. Inspired by the likes of Maggie Beer and Jamie Oliver, Christina hopes to one day develop her own recipes.

Dee Williams, 37, VIC

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Dee grew up in a boarding school in Sri Lanka where all her meals were provided. It wasn’t until her mum encouraged her to read cookbooks and learn traditional Sri Lankan and Indian dishes that her love affair with cooking really began.

Now Dee, who describes herself as a savoury cook “capable” of sweet dishes, is planning to conquer the MasterChef kitchen to follow her dream of establishing a cooking school that teaches Sri Lankan cooking

Derek Lau, 26, WA

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Derek, who preferences sweets but wowed the judges with his dumplings in his first cook, spent a lot of time with his mum growing up, picking up all the tips and tricks he can which he hopes will help him get to the end of the competition.

Huda Al Sultan, 34, SA

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Moving from Saudi Arabia to Australia in 2007 opened up a whole new world of cuisines to the mum of three.

With a passion for inspiring young women, Huda also hopes to start cooking classes which pay homage to her Middle Eastern roots.

Jess Hall, 28, NSW

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Describing herself as a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’, Jess worries that her strengths in the kitchen could also be her weakness, but is hoping that the MasterChef experience will lead her to get experience in some professional kitchens. Dee’s dream is to open a market stall where she can sell her own butter, sauces and spice mixes.

Joe Alhern, 22, WA

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Joe’s a true millennial, having taught himself to cook by watching YouTube videos. The Digital Production Assistant is nervous about cooking desserts  but is determined to keep his cool.

Kyle Lyons, 29, WA

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Kyle currently works in a brewery and would one day love to gain some experience in commercial kitchens in the hope of one day open his own microbrewery.

Larissa Takchi, 22, NSW

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Coming from a big Lebanese family, Larissa says that some of her favourite memories were from helping her aunts in the kitchen preparing dishes.

Leah Milburn-Clark, 22, VIC

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Heston Blumenthal is her main inspiration, with Leah’s main passion lying in intricate desserts and molecular cooking. The 22-year-old jokingly told the judges her mum usually just calls it “a bit wanky”.

Mandy Hall, 51, SA

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Last year Mandy went on a two-week residency with a fermentation expert, and now she hopes to take all that knowledge and apply it in the MasterChef kitchen – although she admits she’s worried about creating technical desserts — especially when it comes to gels and foams.

Monica Mignone, 27, VIC

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Monica’s passion for food came after she broke her foot while playing basketball. After that, she began to learn from her Nonna and Mum, two of the best bakers she knows.

Monica would love to one day lead cooking classes designed for families, with a space to sell her Italian street food sweets

Nicole Scott, 24, QLD

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Nicole has been passionate about food for years, even naming her Yorkshire Terrier after Massimo Butturo, and she hopes to combine those loves one day opening a pet-friendly winery.

Sandeep Pandit, 37, VIC

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Born in Kashmir, Sandeep and his family were forced to migrate to Bangalore, which is where he explains his passion for cooking really took off.

Watching MasterChef Australia while in Bangalore, a move to Australia in 2016 meant he was able to bring his skills with spices to the kitchen

Simon Toohey, 32, VIC

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Simon is already an established cocktail bartender, taking home the titles of the best cocktail menu and best high-volume cocktail bar from the Tales of the Cocktail awards in New Orleans a few years ago.

Simon would love to open a vegan smokehouse one day.

Steph De Sousa, 45, NSW

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Whilst working as a hair and makeup artist in Vanuata, Steph’s love affair with the country’s cuisine took off and she quickly began to enjoy visiting local markets for ingredients and cooking dishes from scratch.

Tati Carlin, 49, VIC

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Born in Indonesia, Tati loves to create curries, which she knows will be her strength. The 49-year-old hopes the competition will give her the lessons she needs to, one day, host Indonesian cooking lessons in her own home before eventually expanding into a commercial kitchen of her own.

Tessa Boersma, 27, QLD

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Tess says her strengths lie in working with seafood as well as balancing flavours, although she’s dreading making desserts. Tess would love to  open up her own farm cafe with an emphasis on using local, seasonal produce from south-east Queensland.

Tim Bone, 33, VIC

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Inspired after falling in love with New York’s sandwich scene during a visit to the States, Tim opened up his very own toasties food truck.

Inspired by chefs like Jamie Oliver, Maggie Beer and the late Anthony Bourdain, Tim hopes he can wow the judges with his good, honest food.

Walleed Rasheed, 38, VIC

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Hoping to eventually open a fusion dessert bar, fusing Middle Eastern and Western flavours, Walleed currently his homemade sweets at local markets.

Yossra Abouelfadl, 36, NSW

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Yossra describes herself as a savoury cook, but she isn’t too worried about sweet dishes and hopes to use the MasterChef journey to eventually open a restaurant with dishes inspired by her Egyptian heritage.

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