With pressure rising in the Masterchef kitchen as Season Seven of the Channel Ten TV show gets underway, we take a look back at our interviews with previous show winners.
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Julie Goodwin, Adam Liaw and Kate Bracks, all past champions of the famous foodie competition, each spoke to Hope Media after their rise to culinary fame – as did Michael Weldon, the Season Three runner-up.
Julie Goodwin, Masterchef Winner, 2009
The Breakfast Interview
Winner of Australia’s inaugural series of Masterchef, Julie Goodwin, has gone on to be a celebrity cook, speaker and cookbook author.
In her interview with the Hope 103.2FM Breakfast crew, she talks about what it’s like sitting at home watching the show as a former contestant. She confesses she often sheds tears and revisits the anxious emotions of the Masterchef kitchen.
She also talks about her passion for not only great food but for helping the hungry, as an Oxfam Grow Ambassador.
The Open House Interview
In her interview with Open House host Leigh Hatcher, Julie describes the “surreal” moment when she won Masterchef and shares the best and worst things about being the show’s winner.
She also reveals her passion for those in need as an ambassador for humanitarian organisations St Vincent De Paul, Oxfam, Child Fund Australia, the Mcgrath Foundation, and the 40K Foundation – and shares about the day she met her sponsor child for the first time.
She says her empathy for those in need was birthed in a personal childhood experience.
“When I was very little my family was the recipient of some help from St Vincent De Paul,” she explains, “and that gave me an affiliation towards them as a teenager.
“I joined a St Vincent De Paul Youth Group, a group of rough Berowra boys, and fell in love with every one of them. I met my husband in that group.”
The show’s original host Sarah Wilson has said in a blog post that Julie was a “spiritual beacon” to her on the show and a woman of evident faith,
But Julie downplays the faith element of her life in this interview, calling herself “not a very good Catholic”. “We go to church, but not every week.”
She agrees that her faith and Christian based values compel her to reach out to those in need, but says non-believers have different motivators that compel them to do the same.
“I simply have a set of values, that’s all,” she says.
Adam Liaw, Masterchef Winner, 2010
Hope Media’s chat with celebrity chef and food writer Adam Liaw reveals that he was a bit of a child prodigy, earning his double-degree by the age of 20.
One of the numerous lawyers on the 2010 season of Masterchef, Adam explains that he always loved cooking and it was the experience of winning the show that propelled him away from law and into his food career.
He talks about life after Masterchef, his book Two Asian Kitchens, and explains why Larb is his favourite Thai Recipe.
Adam has gone on to write cookbooks and host the TV show Destination Flavour.
Kate Bracks, Masterchef Winner, 2011
When Kate Bracks filled out the online form to put herself forward for Masterchef 2011, she prayed as she hit the “Send” button, “God, do with this as you will”.
Little did she know she would go on to win the entire series and launch herself into a food career.
In this interview with Hope Media’s Open House host Leigh Hatcher, Kate talks about the highs and lows of Masterchef, as well as how her Christian faith grounded her throughout the dizzying experience.
She says while she didn’t pray to win the show, she did ask God to help her honour Him in whatever situations she was presented with.
Kate’s faith famously prompted her public refusal to address the Dalai Lama as “your Holiness”.
She says on her website that it was only the media who criticised her, whereas the Dalai Lama respected her choice.
Kate now runs a business in her hometown of Orange, baking tailor-made cakes.
Michael Weldon, Runner Up, Masterchef 2011
In this interview, Hope Media’s Aaron Wright describes Michael Weldon as the “genuine nice guy” of Masterchef Season Three.
He indeed comes across as a very likeable fellow, talking about the 2011 grand finale in which he was named runner-up behind season winner Kate Bracks.
Michael gives a behind-the-scenes view of the show, talking about the moment he stressed out the celebrity chef Peter Doyle and describing the famous challenge in which he and Kate had to recreate Danish chef Rene Redzepi’s “Snowman” - a dessert of carrot puree and passionfruit mousse.
He also explains how he prepared for the competition and says he is thankful for the experience.
“I walked out of that kitchen so happy about my effort and feeling so good about cooking,” he says.