MasterChef Australia Season 13 is set to premiere on Lifetime block on Astro channel Hello (CH702) on 19 July 2021. The long-awaited cooking show is back with more action in the MasterChef kitchen and impressive locations throughout the Australian state of Victoria.
The three judges, Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo, are back to mentor aspiring cooks by extending their wisdom when the going gets tough. This season is touted to be the ‘most delicious season ever’ with Best Food Ever and Best Cooks Ever.
Viewers will witness the ultimate fusion of cuisines emphasising the show’s trademarks — diverse food culture and congeniality. With 24 contestants from different parts of the world, only the finest will emerge as the winner and take home $250,000 (about RM1 mil) of the cash prize, along with the trophy and title of Australia’s MasterChef 2021.
The selection of contestants with a rich Asian heritage will make this season even more diverse and inclusive than its predecessors. Moreover, Southeast Asian fans will get to celebrate multiculturalism with 12 Asian-Australian faces who will push the envelope with their culinary skills.
These include Dan Dumbrell, Depinder Chhibber, Elise Pulbrook, Eric Mao, Justin Narayan, Kishwar Chowdhury, Linda Dalrymple, Minoli De Silva, Therese Lum, Tommy Pham, Trent Vu and Yo Yo Yang.
Dan Dumbrell loves to cook Chinese dishes inspired by his mother’s Guangzhou background. Depinder Chibber is a Delhi-born self-taught baker whose cooking inspiration includes Indian and south-east Asian flavours. Elise Pulbrook’s cooking is influenced by her Sri Lankan and Italian heritage. Eric Mao is a Junior MasterChef Australia prodigy with roots in Chinese culture.
Justin Narayan’s Fijian and Indian heritage has been the focus of his cooking but his mother’s Indian heritage remains the biggest influencing factor. Kishwar Chowdhury proudly represents Bangladeshi-Indian heritage and is an ardent fan of Bengali cuisine. Linda Dalrymple’s diverse background includes her Chinese-Cambodian father and Laotian mother, with an indelible influence of South-East Asian cuisine. Minoli De Silva was born in Sri Lanka and grew up learning traditional recipes from her mother.
Therese Lum started experimenting with flavours early, thanks to the varied influences of Burmese, Taiwanese and Chinese heritage. In an exclusive interview with Prestige Malaysia, Lum shared her fondest memory of the first dish she ever cooked. She said, “The first dish I ever cooked would be dumplings and tang yuan. Since then I’ve experimented a lot with different dumpling flavours like chicken buffalo wing and jalapeno and cheese.” She also talked about her favourite Asian ingredients. “Pandan & lemongrass herb for its exotic perfume that you can use in a savoury and sweet context.” She further added, “Sauces and pastes for the depth of flavour it brings to the dish when added in – belachan, gochujang, chilli bean paste, fish sauce.”
Tommy Pham has Vietnamese heritage and he loves to recreate his mother’s recipes. Trent Vu’s Vietnamese heritage and his love for making art through desserts are influenced by his mother’s cooking tips. 19-year-old Yo Yo Yang is the youngest contestant on MasterChef Australia season 13 and has her roots in China with her parents and grandparents being the biggest influences on her cooking.
The show will open with a Superstars Week where Nigella Lawson will be joined by cooking legends Massimo Bottura, Clare Smyth, Yotam Ottolenghi and Heston Blumenthal. The award-winning pastry chef and ‘The Queen of Chocolate’ Kirsten Tibballs will grace the show alongside Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone and Scott Pickett.
MasterChef Back to Win favourites Poh Ling Yeow, Reynold Poernomo and Callum Hann will also return to amp up the enthusiasm of the contestants. MasterChef Back to Win champion Emelia Jackson will set up a challenge worthy of three immunity pins. Michelin-starred Japanese chef Masahiko Yomoda, famous as Yomo, will join alongside the co-owner of award-winning restaurant Tipo 00’s Andreas Papadakis, acclaimed pastry chef Anthony Hart, Amaru’s Clinton Mclever, Sunda Dining chef Khanh Nguyen, Aussie-restauranteur and Fish cooking pioneer Josh Niland.
(Hero Image credit: MasterChef Australia/Twitter; Featured Image: Melissa Leong/Instagram)