MasterChef Australia’s first contestant to be awarded a much-coveted apron for the class of 2016 is Adelaide’s Nidhi Mahajan.
Born in India, 30-year-old call centre worker Nidhi and her husband immigrated to Australia three years ago seeking a simpler life.
Cooking regularly since she was just 12 years old, Nidhi was initially discouraged by her father to pursue a profession as a chef, instead studying finance and accounting.
Nidhi has reached a now-or-never moment and is determined to make food her future. While Indian cuisine is one of her specialties, she hopes to educate people that Indian food is not just about curries and tikkas.
She joins brother and sister Theresa Visintin and Jimmy Wong from Sydney, Michaela Johansson from Sydney, Perth’s Karmen Lu, Queensland’s Matt Sinclair and and Miles Pritchett, and Victoria’s Cecilia Vuong in chasing their food dreams.
For the first time ever on MasterChef Australia, sibling rivalries will be put to the test as 44-year-old mother of three Theresa battles her own brother Jimmy, a 49-year-old sustainability specialist, in an effort to secure a coveted spot in the Top 24. As one of their dreams shines brighter, whose will be extinguished?
Typical Aussie bloke Miles is a 46-year-old park ranger who likes nothing better than cooking on an open campfire, but will his meat pie served in a tin be enough to set the judges taste buds alight?
In a bid to impress the judges, 23-year-old student Michaela attempts the most ambitious audition dish MasterChef Australia has ever seen: a croquembouche. With only an hour to complete this incredibly complex dessert, has Michaela bitten off more than she can chew?
Perth waitress Karmen, 24, is normally quite shy and reserved outside of the kitchen, but make no mistake about her ambitions. This quietly competitive cook plans to wow the judges by playing to their biggest weakness, chocolate.
Coffee roaster Matt Sinclair, 27, lives in the coastal town of Noosa, Queensland. In a bid to impress the judges and make it into the MasterChef Australia kitchen, Matt is making a risotto – better known as the “death dish” because it has been the downfall of many previous contestants.
Fans of MasterChef Australia will remember 31-year-old secondary school teacher Cecilia Vuong. The mother of two successfully made it through the Judges Auditions for Series 6 in 2014 before having to withdraw from the competition due to a head injury she sustained on a snowboarding trip before her application. Returning to the kitchen with a newfound focus and passion, Cecilia is confident her dish can delight the judges a second time round.
Tune in to see if this year's hopefuls make it through the judges’ auditions and secure a place in MasterChef Australia’s Top 24.