MasterChef Australia on 10
Jean-Christophe Novelli, Poh Ling Yeow, Andy Allen and Sofia Levin (image - Paramount)

MasterChef Australia on 10 is hitting the road

MasterChef Australia on 10 – Next week MasterChef Australia will showcase Victoria’s Goldfields region across two mouth-watering episodes supported by Visit Victoria.

On Monday and Tuesday night, MasterChef Australia will show off exceptional regional produce, experiences and scenery to share the magic of the region with viewers.

In Monday’s episode, the MasterChef Australia judges will challenge our 17 remaining contestants to a French themed mystery box in Bendigo. Inspired by the Bendigo Art Gallery’s “Paris: Impressions Of Life” exhibition, the contestants will have 75 minutes to create a delectable dish, cooking at the Bendigo Town Hall.

The bottom four contestants from the mystery box will find themselves cooking in Tuesday’s elimination challenge, amongst the truffle orchards at Black Cat Truffles near Ballarat. Head chef, Liam Downes, will set a four-hour pressure test like we’ve never seen before, and ultimately it will be the end of the MasterChef Australia journey for one of our talented home-cooks.

MasterChef Australia judge Jean-Christophe Novelli said:

“It was a privilege to visit Bendigo and Ballarat to film these special episodes of MasterChef Australia. I was mesmerised by the beautiful inland Australian scenery. I just wish I had spotted a kangaroo in the wild!”

Head Chef of Black Cat Truffles, Liam Downes, said:

“It was an honour and a huge career highlight to host the MasterChef Australia team at Black Cat Truffles. It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our farm and our amazing truffles. We really put the contestants through their paces.”

MasterChef Australia on 10 and 10 Play – Continues Sunday to Wednesday At 7:30pm.

About MasterChef

MasterChef Australia: Meet Your Top 22. MasterChef Australia. Premieres Monday, 22 April At 7:30pm On 10 And 10 Play.

MasterChef Australia has searched the country far and wide to find 22 of Australia’s most exceptional home-cooks to go head-to-head in a season like never before.

The competition will be fierce as the contestants battle it out for the coveted title of MasterChef Australia winner 2024 and $250,000 in prize money. This season will also see a money-can’t-buy prize on offer, with an opportunity of a lifetime in store for the winner. 

MasterChef Australia’s judging panel, Andy Allen, Poh Ling-Yeow, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Sofia Levin, will mentor this season’s crop of contenders through exciting challenges designed to test and develop them, while honing their skills at every turn.

Season 16’s top 22 hail from all parts of Australia with six contestants representing NSW and Victoria, five contestants calling Queensland home, three contestants from Western Australia, and a hopeful from both Tasmania and South Australia who are cooking for their home state with pride.

A pharmacologist, a primary school teacher, a butcher, a lettering artist, a carpenter and a coffee roaster are among the top 22 who have claimed a coveted MasterChef Australia apron this season.

Week on week the competition will provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for our MasterChef Australia hopefuls, featuring a who’s who of chefs from across the globe, and taking the competition on the road, winging it all the way to culinary hot spot Hong Kong, as well as visiting regional Aussie gems Bendigo and Ballarat.

We’re thrilled to introduce the MasterChef Australia class of 2024.


Sales Representative

Raised in Fremantle, Alex Crisp is a first generation Australian, her mother Britta, a Dane, and her father Gary, a South African. The mix of cultures always made for maximum flavour on Alex’s dinner table growing up. Despite earning a double degree in Science (Human Biology) and Design (Fine Arts), her daily exposure to the food scene has further fuelled the fire inside, and Alex knows that cooking is not just a hobby.


Management Consultant

Growing up the only child of Sri Lankan parents, Darrsh Clarke’s love of food was heavily influenced by his late father, a chef in an Indian restaurant. Darrsh was also inspired by his grandmother, who shared many Sri Lankan food traditions and introduced him to a love of baking. A self-taught cook with a free-flowing style, Darrsh brings a versatility across both savoury and sweet.



With a degree in pharmacology and toxicology to his name, David Tan’s day job is as a national clinical trials administrator. Growing up in Singapore, in a food culture that underpins society, David jokes that eating is the national hobby. Making the move to Australia seven years ago was a big push for David to hone his cooking skills. Will David be a master of texture and flavour or the MasterChef Australia kitchen’s mad scientist?


Lettering Artist

Growing up in a home influenced by Italian flavours on her Mum’s side and the taste of Vietnam on her Dad’s, meal times in the Dinh household were anything but dull. As a talented artist, Gillian (Gill) has run her own lettering art business for eight years and will bring a tonne of creativity to the competition. When Gill’s around, you can bank on big flavours and aesthetically pleasing plates, but she warns that there might also be mess and stress to beat the clock.


Commercial Property

Happiest by the ocean, Brisbane-based Harry Butterfield has his sights on being this season’s resident seafood guru. With fond memories of helping his Mum and Dad in the kitchen as a kid, he is influenced by his family of good cooks, and heritage spanning Northern Italian, English and German. Super passionate about sustainably harvesting seafood, Harry finds it incredibly rewarding to dish up something delicious he has harvested for family and friends.


Primary School Teacher

Growing up in England, James Holmes’ love of food has long been inspired by his travels. Family holidays as a child were to the small Greek island of Lemnos, where core food memories were made. James and his Australian-born wife Paris travelled the world together, sampling and understanding new cuisines. James is determined to show his own kids, along with those he teaches, that you can embrace a challenge with nothing to lose.



A Nonna’s boy through and through, Jonathan Hooper is incredibly close with his Nonna, and he recalls beginning to cook at around 10-years-old. Inspired by the likes of Matty Matheson, Morgan Hipworth and Jamie Oliver, Jonathan excels at home style comfort food, strong bold flavours and slow-cooked meats. With a love of barbecue, Mexican, Japanese and Italian, he is conscious however, that cooking under time pressure will be tough.


Coffee Roaster

Growing up in Queens, NYC, Josh Clarke cites both his Irish Mum Caroline and Jamaican Dad Jason as his foodie inspirations. Leaving college early to backpack across the world, Josh sampled interesting and authentic foods across the globe. On a farm in Byron Bay in 2018, Josh met and fell for his now wife Laura, and while the demands of parenthood delayed his chance to chase a chef’s apprenticeship, Josh is excited for the opportunities that the MasterChef Australia kitchen will open up.



Affectionately known as “Pezza”, Josh Perry is a small-town butcher from Smithton, Tasmania. Not work-shy, Josh is accustomed to 10-to-12-hour days, six days a week at the helm of his butcher shop. He fattens his own cattle to sell, loving nothing more than cooking with homegrown, grass-fed Tasmanian beef and locally harvested seafood. Taught to cook with love by his Mum, Nan and Aunt, Josh has been inspired by the matriarchs of his family.


Board Game Designer

With easily the most infectious smile in the MasterChef Australia kitchen, Juan De La Cruz Torales Villarreal will bring not only Latin American flavours, but a healthy dose of fun. Born in Argentina, Juan De La Cruz is one of nine children. Bad asthma kept Juan indoors a lot as a kid, but he became Mum’s official taster as a result, developing his palette from an early age. Juan can’t wait to showcase his favourite Argentinian dishes for the judges.


Insurance Services

Growing up in working-class Melbourne, Khristian Walker witnessed a gritty side of life from a young age. His mum sparked his passion for food, Khristian recalling helping in the kitchen from around age 10. This big-hearted cook loves nothing more than cooking up a Sunday roast to treat family and friends. Determined to be tenacious in the MasterChef Australia kitchen, Khristian will deliver big flavours, meats, cooking over coals and Italian and Greek cuisine.


Landscape Gardener

Doting dad to toddler Lily, Lachlan Whittle is motivated to make his mark on the competition for his little girl. Having learnt to cook over fire on holidays by the beach growing up, Lachlan’s Dad Gary is a great home cook who taught him and fostered his love of cooking. Lachlan knows his strength in the competition will be his ability to balance sweet, sour, fat and acid.


Former Nurse

Lily Davies’ Mum, Jo, was a chef who trained at Le Cordon Bleu, and spending time in the kitchen with her Mum over the years bonded the pair inextricably. Having relocated to Sydney in 2019, Lily loved it so much she stayed. Not one to forget her British roots, Lily is inspired by English chefs and icons including Jamie Oliver, Clare Smyth, Mary Berry, Julius Roberts and Thomas Straker. Widely travelled, Lily has sampled cuisines the world over, from Kenya, Borneo, Cuba, Central America, Japan, China, America, and of course, Europe.


Marketing Coordinator

Growing up in Melbourne, Lourdes Leschen is fortunate to have had a heavy Spanish influence upon her life and her cooking. With her mother Laly and Yiayia Ana Maria hailing from Catalonia, the family has strong ties to its maternal homeland, teaching Lourdes how delicious healthy and simple food can be. With a huge collection of cookbooks that she is constantly working her way through, Lourdes also loves consuming food media and is ready to take on any feedback the judges might dish out.


High School Teacher

Born in Hong Kong, Mimi Wong moved to Sydney aged one, but returned to Hong Kong to live at age 11 for seven years with her beloved grandma. Their tiny apartment was full of love and steeped in tradition, always with the scent of poached snapper, soy-braised chicken or coconut and red date syrup on the stove top. Since returning to Sydney in 2016, Mimi has met her insatiable thirst for what she calls “cultural recharge”, through Cantonese food. Today, Mimi loves playing in the grey space of Asian fusion.



A proud Australian-born Thai woman, Nat Thaipun grew up in a busy family of five on Melbourne’s outskirts, with parents who ran a Thai restaurant. Super passionate about breaking cultural stigmas, Nat hopes that the MasterChef Australia kitchen will help cement her grasp on her true identity and provide the opportunity to represent her culture through her food, personality and style. Combining traditional comfort with modern flair, expect Nat’s food to be vibrant, fresh and full of flavour.


Banking Consultant

For Savindri Perera or Sav as she is best known, working in a bank is a means to an end. Where she comes alive is in the kitchen, working to recreate the Sri Lankan flavours of her late mother’s kitchen. Describing her cooking style as rustic, generous and colourful, Sav’s love of cooking amped up around age 12 after discovering Nigella. She lists onion, garlic and curry leaves as her holy trinity, nothing happens in Sri Lankan cooking without them. With a deep understanding of flavour, Sav thinks her use of spices and ability to balance the six tastes will give her an edge, as will her baking expertise.


Financial Services

Croatian-born Snezana Calic moved to Serbia as a child, so grew up influenced by both Mediterranean flavours and heartier style Serbian dishes. Snezana started cooking around age seven, learning her skills in the kitchen from observing her Mum. Showing her love through food, Snezana cooks for husband Aleks, daughter Lenka, aged seven and son Lazar, five. With a cooking style that will steer toward homely meals, Snezana usually favours quick cooks, while packing in maximum flavour.


Events Manager

Making it into the MasterChef Australia class of 2024 has proven to Steph Griffen that she’s ready to take the next big step towards the food career of her dreams. Working in food event planning, Steph collaborates with clients and cooks to deliver delicious and unforgettable entertaining experiences. Identifying as a savoury girl, Steph cooks meat to perfection and loves creating high-end dishes. She is confident in balancing flavours and turning the simple into something truly memorable.


Tour Guide

Stephen got the call up to be a part of season one of MasterChef Australia, but a cyclone stopped him travelling to join the competition. Steve never let go of his dream, and at 62, he is here to prove that there is no upper limit to going after what you want in life. Father to two adult sons, Steve has been fortunate to travel the world through his work, experiencing many cuisines on his travels. Japanese and French are amongst his favourites, the former for its simplicity and the latter for its complexity.


Customer Manager

Having immigrated as Ten Pound Poms, Sue’s Anglo-Indian (late) father Ted and Danish mother Lene settled in Adelaide, where Sue and her four siblings grew up. She has special memories of helping her mother tending, harvesting and cooking from their vegetable garden, as well as sharing varied cuisines with their multicultural community. A MasterChef Australia fan, Sue is no longer content watching on from home; now she’s getting a piece of the action, role modelling to her adult kids that anything is possible.


A love of food is in Sumeet Saigal’s blood, embedded deep in her Punjabi culture and engrained in her family upbringing. Growing up in Bangalore, India, Sumeet has fond memories of her parents throwing parties. Her biggest food influence was her paternal grandfather, who she called Darji, a larger-than-life former freedom fighter, who loved cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. As a proud mum to 17-year-old twins, Sumeet says it’s her kids who gave her the confidence to finally put her hand up for MasterChef Australia.

Media Release – Paramount

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