After winning the very first season of MasterChef Australia almost 10 years ago, Julie Goodwin has ticked a lot off her wish-list. "It's brought so many of my dreams to life," she says of the experience.
She's been a columnist for Australian Women's Weekly magazine, opened a cooking school, and she's just finished her sixth cookbook. Julie also co-hosts a breakfast program on the Central Coast radio station Star 104.5.
Life for Julie is "busy and very good", but it's not exactly what she saw herself doing when she took home the title of MasterChef in 2009. "What MasterChef did for me was allow me to crystalise my vision and it turns out the vision wasn't a restaurant or a bistro; this is it," says Julie; "it" primarily being her Gosford-located cooking school, Julie's Place.
"It's all about coming together and sharing good food," she says of the school.
For Julie, cooking and food hold powerful emotional significance. She mentions a special coconut cake recipe from one of her cookbooks that she spent hours perfecting for an unwell friend. "Her face lit up when I turned up with that cake and that's a memory I'll always have with me."
"MasterChef," she says, "100% makes dreams come true. I feel so blessed every single day to have gone through that experience, and to be where I am today, living and breathing what I love."
Discover more about Julie, her books and her cooking school online: