Andrew Prior

Andrew Prior

Age: 40

Occupation: Ex-insurance underwriter

Following a nine-month stay in Paris last year, Andrew was inspired to give up his career as an insurance underwriter and follow his food dream, applying for MasterChef Australia as a kick start to changing his life.

Andrew lives with his partner of nine years, Peter, and their two golden retrievers.

My earliest memories of cooking were of my nana. She made the best roast dinners, with beans from her garden and the best gravy you have ever had. But I started cooking after she passed away so I never got to find out how she did it.

For Andrew his school years were a bit of a challenge, being the target of bullying because of his sexuality. As soon as he was 18, he left home for the bright lights of inner city Sydney. Self-taught, Andrew started cooking when he left home as he had to cook for himself, and has learnt from cookbooks and cooking shows. He started to love the praise that came from cooking for others and his dinner parties are now legendary.

Do I throw dinner parties? I have to admit that I go a little overboard with preparation and effort. I find that sometimes I've spent more on one dinner party than I spend on the week's groceries. But I justify it by the fact that I get enormous pleasure out of giving people a fantastic meal.

Andrew's dream is to open a French bistro with an Aussie twist, and he feels that the older he gets, the harder it is to change his path. He does not want to put it on hold any longer, and now is the time to chase his dream.