Meet The Contestants Of MasterChef Australia 2024

Meet 22 of Australia's best home cooks, vying for the title of MasterChef in 2024.

Twenty-two of Australia's best home cooks will be stepping into the hallowed halls of the MasterChef kitchen when this season premieres on Monday, April 22 at 7.30pm on 10 and 10 Play.

This year, a brand new era of MasterChef awaits as we welcome two new faces to the judging table, and one very familiar one.

Joining Andy Allen, this season we welcome food critic and journalist Sofia Levin, multi-Michelin Star and award-winning chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, and MasterChef's very own Poh Ling Yeow to the judging table.

MasterChef Australia 2024 top 22

Our four fiercely talented judges each bring a lifetime of knowledge to the table and will guide our 22 hungry contestants through challenges, pushing them to their culinary limits, extracting mind-blowing creations and memorable dishes until one is crowned MasterChef winner 2024, along with a $250,000 prize.

Meet the 22 contestants who will be entering the MasterChef Australia kitchen this year:


Sales Representative, 27, WA

MasterChef Australia S16_Alex Crisp_Kitchen (1)

On Alex's ninth birthday, her dad told her she could pick out any gift she wanted, so she chose a Jamie Oliver cookbook, she now boasts a collection of more than 70 cookbooks at home. Dubbed 'sunshine in human form', Alex is ready to shine her light in the MasterChef kitchen. Since she was 10-years-old Alex has loved being in the kitchen.

Working in fine food sales, specialising in gourmet products, cheeses and smallgoods, Alex's daily exposure to the food scene has further fuelled the fire inside, that cooking is not just a hobby but her true calling in life!

Follow Alex @alexcrisp__


Management Consultant, 31, WA

MasterChef Australia S16_Darrsh Clarke_Kitchen (1)

Darrsh's love of food was heavily inspired by his late father, a chef in an Indian restaurant, who not only inspired him on his culinary journey but also his approach to life -- with passion and creativity, two traits he will bring to the competition.

No stranger to competing, Darrsh has represented Western Australia on both the basketball and volleyball court over the years, which he hopes will give him an edge in the MasterChef kitchen. Inspired by chefs like Alex Atala, Jamie Oliver, Cédric Grolet, and Reynold Poernomo, Darrsh hopes to one day have his own fusion bar and restaurant.

Follow Darrsh @darrshclarke


Pharmacologist, 30, QLD

MasterChef Australia S16_David Tan_Kitchen (1)

Growing up in Singapore, David joked that eating is the national hobby, adding that he and his family of five would routinely drive to Malaysia on the weekend for lunch. With fond memories of cooking from his father and grandmother, David learned that cooking can be a love language as well as a way to express culture and culinary traditions.

Moving to Australia seven years ago, the national clinical trials administrator is committed to his important work with cancer patients on their crucial treatments but has put his profession on hold to see where his MasterChef journey may lead.

Follow David @DavidBistronomy


Lettering Artist, 31, NSW

MasterChef Australia S16_Gill Dinh_Kitchen (1)

For Gill, food is love. She has been influenced deeply by both her Mum Doreen and her beloved late Nonna Lina, who gifted her the use of food as a love language; as well as by her late Dad Tommy who taught her intuition in the kitchen, to trust her palette, and to balance flavours and textures when preparing food with care.

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. Inspired by great chefs like Luke Nguyen, Josh Niland, Dan Hong, Kylie Kwong, and Marco Pierre White, Gill promises big flavours and aesthetically pleasing plates, but she warns that there might also be mess and stress to beat the clock.

Follow Gill @gilldinh


Commercial Property, 29, QLD

MasterChef Australia S16_Harry Butterfield_Kitchen (1)

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, Harry embraced cooking around age 12. Aspiring to the talent and creativity of his ultimate food hero Josh Niland, Harry loves combining fresh and wild Australian seafood with hearty Italian or French techniques, as well as combining influences from Asian dishes, highlighting Chinese and Japanese flavours.

Super passionate about sustainably harvesting seafood, Harry has been known to swim for hours in search of crayfish, even in shark-infested waters! He finds it incredibly rewarding to dish up something delicious he has harvested for family and friends and has a huge respect for fresh produce, not letting anything go to waste.

Follow Harry @harrybutterfield_


Primary School Teacher, 38, WA

MasterChef Australia S16_James Holmes_Kitchen (1)

Having forged a successful career as a teacher over many years, family man James is a father to son Benji, aged seven, and daughter Goldie, three. Becoming a parent has changed his perspective and James says his kids remind him to always find the joy in life. James is determined to lead by example and show his own kids, along with those he teaches, that you can go against the grain and embrace a challenge with nothing to lose.

James feels ready to try his luck in the MasterChef Australia kitchen and recalls a lightbulb moment when a friend commented on how calm and “in flow” he was in the kitchen, despite many guests to feed and many elements on the go. With his eye on a waterside café in South Yunderup, an idyllic riverside town south of Perth, James’ dream is to breathe life into the place, creating a foodie destination featuring great local produce.

Follow James @james_at_holmes


Carpenter, 29, NSW

MasterChef Australia S16_Jonathan Hooper_Kitchen (1)

Always drawn to food, Jonathan recalls beginning to cook at around 10 years old. If he didn’t like what was for dinner, he was encouraged to cook for himself, and he did. 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 that cooking under time pressure will be tough.

Ready to give the competition his all, Jonathan hopes to make his Nonna proud of his efforts in the kitchen and will relish being around a group of new, like-minded foodie mates as they bring their dreams to life. His dream? To do the fit out of his own beach-shack restaurant.

Follow Jonathan @1_hungry_dude


Coffee Roaster, 27, QLD

MasterChef Australia S16_Josh Clarke_Kitchen (1)

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 all manner of interesting and authentic foods across the globe including Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Mexico, Canada, Vietnam, Thailand and of course, Australia. It was on a farm in Byron Bay in 2018 that Josh met and fell for his now wife Laura, and the rest is history.

Laura is very supportive of Josh, encouraging him to chase his food dream and she secretly began the process of filling out Josh’s application to join the competition. Taking inspiration from chefs like Matt Sinclair, Roy Choi, Andy Hearnden, Joshua Weissman and Matty Matheson, the judges can expect Spanish influences from Josh’s food, plus Asian and Mexican, as he celebrates spice and zing.

Follow Josh @josh.clarke.__


Butcher, 43, TAS

MasterChef Australia S16_Josh Perry_Kitchen (1)

Affectionately known as “Pezza”, Josh Perry is a small-town butcher from Smithton, Tasmania, with big food dreams. This former livestock agent fattens his own cattle to sell, on what he calls God’s country, loving nothing more than cooking with homegrown, grass-fed Tasmanian beef and locally harvested seafood, with fresh abalone also a favourite.

Looking up to food icons including Rick Stein, Neil Perry, Maggie Beer and Jamie Oliver – Josh loves simple food executed well and, while savoury may be his strength, he is here to learn and will be looking to expand his pastry skills. Taught to cook with love by his Mum, Nan and Aunt, Josh has been inspired by the matriarchs of his family and hopes to do them proud in the MasterChef Australia kitchen.

Follow Josh @pezza_the_tassie_butcher

Juan De La Cruz

Board Game Designer, 39, NSW

MasterChef Australia S16_Juan De La Cruz_Kitchen (1)

Born in Argentina, Juan De La Cruz will bring not only Latin American flavours but a healthy dose of fun. With food heroes including Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann and, locally, Miguel Maestre who has inspired him to embrace his culture, Juan can’t wait to showcase his favourite Argentinian dishes for the judges.

Outside the kitchen, music and singing are another huge passion for Juan, and this former Popstars Argentina contender will bring his trademark bright and bubbly energy to MasterChef Australia, ready to let his creativity take over as he shares his unique recipes.

Follow Juan De La Cruz @delacruzcooks


Insurance Services, 26, VIC

MasterChef Australia S16_Khristian Walker_Kitchen (1)

Khristian's mum sparked his passion for food, and he recalls helping in the kitchen from around age 10. Not only did this pique his curiosity but gifted him a level of independence which was incredibly useful. His single mum worked 14-hour days to keep the family afloat, and independence meant Khristian could help care for his sister. Once the fire was lit, Khristian’s thirst for knowledge led him to continually level up his learning as a cook.

Determined to be tenacious in the MasterChef Australia kitchen, Khristian will deliver big flavours - he loves meats, cooking over coals and Italian and Greek cuisine. However, he believes his true strength will be remaining calm and rising to whatever challenge is thrown his way.

Follow Khristian @khristianwalker


Landscape Gardener, 34, VIC

MasterChef Australia S16_Lachlan Whittle_Kitchen (1)

Doting dad to two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Lily, Lochy is motivated to make his mark on the competition for his little girl, to leave a legacy that makes her proud. Seizing this chance has taken on a whole new meaning for Lochy, who sadly lost his Mum Jan to cancer late last year. For many years, Jan also suffered from the degenerative brain condition Huntington’s Disease. As a genetic disorder, Lochy learnt in recent years that he too suffers from the condition.

Far from self-pity, Lochy has drawn from his situation a determination to live life to the fullest, working hard to stave off the on-set of symptoms, with cooking taking on a renewed significance. Thinking constantly about food, Lochy wants his life to revolve around it, with an intent to soak up knowledge and learn from the judges and guest chefs to take his cooking to the highest level

Follow Lachlan @lochycooks


Former Nurse, 30, NSW

MasterChef Australia S16_Lily Davies_Kitchen (1)

Growing up in a busy family of five with two older brothers, Londoner Lily Davies has long been drawn to food, some might say obsessed! Lily’s Mum was a chef who trained at Le Cordon Bleu, and became one of the youngest ever to teach there back in the day when she was 18. Spending time in the kitchen with her Mum bonded the pair inextricably, with a deep love of food igniting a shared passion.

An intuitive cook, Lily’s signature style is homely, hearty food, made with love. She is confident in balancing flavours and has a knack for bringing ingredients together. Lily would love to one day run her own casual deli-style eatery, with relaxed wine bar vibes, bringing people together over good food and drink.

Follow Lily @lilslarder_au 


Marketing Coordinator, 22, VIC

https://wMasterChef Australia S16_Lourdes Leschen_Kitchen (1)

Growing up in Melbourne, Lourdes is fortunate to have had a heavy Spanish influence in 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. This connection has instilled in Lourdes a deep love of cooking, teaching her 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 to help her grow as a cook. While she loves savoury, Lourdes also admits to a strong sweet tooth, so she hopes her broad palette will be an asset. With her family cheering her on, Lourdes hopes to do them proud, pushing herself towards her dream to pen her very own cookbook, combining her two passions, food and photography.

Follow Lourdes @lourdesleschen 


High School Teacher, 25, NSW

MasterChef Australia S16_Mimi Wong_Kitchen (1)

Mimi's passion for food has begun to exceed the boundaries of home cooking, so she has come to the best place to test them: the MasterChef Australia kitchen. Heavily influenced by the strict cultural practices around food growing up, today Mimi loves playing in the grey space of Asian fusion.

Also a big fan of cooking tarts, Mimi says she has an equal amount of sweet and savoury teeth, and is adept at turning her talents either way, though she will need to keep her perfectionist tendencies in check. Inspired by her students, Mimi is harnessing their spirit and courage to go after her goals, role modelling how to chase your passion and risk it for reward.

Follow Mimi @mimiwonggaa


Barista, 28, VIC

MasterChef Australia S16_Nat Thaipun_Kitchen (1)

A proud Australian-born Thai woman Nat grew up in a busy family of five on Melbourne’s outskirts, with two younger brothers, and parents who ran a Thai restaurant where her Mum and food hero, Nutsiree, was head chef. Trained as a Barista, over the past seven years Nat has lived and worked in Switzerland, Japan and New Zealand.

Being away from home has only strengthened the depth of Nat’s passion for cooking, realising food’s universal ability to connect people to their heritage, identity and culture as she found herself subconsciously tapping into her Thai roots through food while away. Combining traditional comfort with modern flair, expect Nat’s food to be vibrant, fresh and full of flavour. With cooking a form of stress relief, Nat is comfortable stepping outside her culinary comfort zone, always eager to push the boundaries.

Follow Nat @nattywolf


Banking Consultant, 30, SA

MasterChef Australia S16_Savindri Perera_Kitchen (1)

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. However, she knows she’ll need to keep her overthinking in check to stay on track. Hoping to become a permanent fixture on the Adelaide food scene, Sav’s ultimate dream is to one day have a brunch café celebrating Sri Lankan flavours.

Follow Sav @savisquishles


Financial Services, 40, VIC

MasterChef Australia S16_Snezana Calic_Kitchen (1)

Croatian-born Snezana moved to Serbia as a child so she grew up with both Mediterranean flavours and heartier-style Serbian dishes. Her Mum is an incredible cook, and Snezana shares that she always has at least three meals on offer, even for a quick visit. Snezana started cooking around age seven, learning her skills in the kitchen from observing her Mum over the years and is heavily inspired by traditional Serbian culture.

Showing her love through food to her own family now, the extended family are also a big bunch of foodies, and Snezana is proud that her own daughter is showing a keen interest. With a cooking style that will steer toward homely meals such as pasta, stews, curries, and soups, Snezana usually favours quick cooks, while packing in maximum flavour. Hoping to change her career path through the competition, Snezana would one day love to run her own rural, home-style café.

Follow Snezana @snezanacalic_official


Events Manager, 28, QLD

MasterChef Australia S16_Steph Griffen_Kitchen (1)

For this bubbly cook from the Sunshine State, making it into the MasterChef Australia class of 2024 has proven to Steph that she’s ready to take the next big step towards the career, and future, of her dreams. Identifying as a savoury girl through and through, Steph cooks meat to perfection and loves creating high-end dishes.

She is confident that her sound grip on balancing flavours and turning the simple into something truly memorable will be an ace up her sleeve during the competition. Inspired by favourite chefs like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Ruth Rogers and Mike Reid, Steph is on a mission in the kitchen and in future, hopes to host exclusive pop-up dining experiences.

Follow Steph @stephelisecooks


Tour Guide, 62, QLD

MasterChef Australia S16_Stephen Dennis_Kitchen (1)

Stepping into the MasterChef Australia kitchen has been a dream 16 years in the making for Steve. But Steve never let go of his dream and at 62, as the oldest contender this year, he is here to prove that there is no upper limit to going after what you want in life.

Steve has been fortunate to travel the world with 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. A self-taught cook, Steve’s cookbook collection tallies upwards of 70 and he says it all started with his Mum Dahlas gifting him the Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook at age 18, a resource which, to this day he still treasures.

Follow Steve @stevowildchef


Customer Manager, 58, VIC

MasterChef Australia S16_Sue Bazely_Kitchen (1)

A MasterChef Australia fan for many years, Sue is no longer content watching on from home; now she’s getting a piece of the action, role modelling to her kids that anything is possible. Inspired early on by her mother and eldest sister’s dinner parties in the '80s, Sue later learnt more from her Sri Lankan mother-in-law. Sue looks up to food icons like Maggie Beer, Yotam Ottolenghi and Jamie Oliver and loves to eat and cook a broad range of cuisines.

Determined to immerse herself fully in the MasterChef Australia experience, Sue would love to publish her own handwritten cookbook, a 42-year work in progress! Having begun writing down her recipes when she was just 16, there are already more than 170 that she cannot wait to share.

Follow Sue @suebazely


Sales Manager, 46, NSW

MasterChef Australia S16_Sumeet Saigal_Kitchen (1)

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 when she and her brother Jasmeet would keenly watch the preparation and planning process.

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. He gave Sumeet her first-ever cookbook and helped her foster a curious and creative persona in the kitchen. , Sumeet’s goal is to simplify Indian food and show people just how versatile a cuisine it can be; to break down stereotypes around Indian food being too rich, spicy, heavy or complicated.

Follow Sumeet @sumeetsaigal__

MasterChef Australia premieres Monday, April 22 at 7.30pm on 10 and 10 Play.