The primary school teacher is taking on the challenge of MasterChef after learning her cooking skills from her mum and her nonna.
Born in Melbourne as the youngest of three girls, 27-year-old Monica comes from a tight-knit Italian family.
Monica played semi-professional competitive basketball throughout high school, at one time touring the United States and Canada with the Blackburn Vikings at just 17. A broken foot at 20 halted her playing career, and a passion for cooking was given room to thrive.
She also teaches group fitness classes, and has left at home her boyfriend Daniel and cavoodle, Miley, while she takes part in the competition.
Monica hopes sweets will be her strength in the MasterChef kitchen, but admits complex Asian flavours like Korean and Indian might be her downfall.
Following her MasterChef journey, she hopes to have a space where she can hold cooking classes for families, hosting workshops and food demonstrations. She’d also love to sell Italian street food sweets alongside a hole-in-the-wall coffee and cake stand.