Adam Liaw, season two
Believe it or not, prior to winning MasterChef, Adam was actually working as a highly paid lawyer in Tokyo, a job which he quit to compete on the reality show.
We are sure that it comes as no surprise that Adam hasn’t looked back!
"I've been lucky enough that my series for SBS, Destination Flavour, has been running now for six seasons," he said in 2018.
"I've also written six cookbooks, and I'm really proud of each of them."
This celebrity chef is also a proud father of three – Christopher, Anna, and Benji – whom he shares with his wife Asami.
Adam also writes a column for Good Food Australia and Sunday Life Australia and in 2022 joined the ABC panel show Tomorrow Tonight.
In May 2022 he also released a seven-part podcast series on Audible called How Taste Changed the World.
Kate Bracks, season three
After winning her season of MasterChef a decade ago Kate traveled the country as an ambassador for the Cancer Council's Eat It to Beat It program.
"The life experiences have been more rewarding than the prize money," says the mum-of-three, who's also bought a hobby farm in Orange, NSW.
"We don't eat off the land entirely, but the ultimate goal would be to do more of that."
In 2012 she published a cooking book called The Sweet Life.
As of 2023, she was working as a teacher.
Andy Allen, season four
This name needs no introduction… After taking out top spot, Andy famously returned as one of the show's judges alongside Jock Zonfrillo and Melissa Leong.
He also co owns popular Sydney restaurant Three Blue Ducks (where he also cooks part time), has written the cookbook The Next Element and even appeared as a co-host in 2021 series Three Blue Ducks, based on travelling across the country to seek inspiration for new dishes for his restaurant.
In 2018 his restaurant was awarded a Chef’s Hat, making Andy the first MasterChef Australia contestant to be awarded the highly sought-after honour.
In October 2022, Andy married his long-time love Alex Davey.
Emma Dean, season five
After taking out the coveted title, the former town planner has since published her own cookbook and co-hosted a daily cooking show My Market Kitchen with her 2013 MasterChef runner-up Lynton Tapp from 2013 to 2019.
"I don't have a restaurant because I am a bit risk adverse," she says.
"However, the show is really fun, and the best part is I get to do it with my best mate!"
She is also a regular contributor to Eat Well Magazine.
Brent Owens, season six
Since scooping the $250,000 prize money, Brent has travelled the world, trying to make a positive impact with his knowledge of food.
"Being exposed to starvation in foreign countries made me recognise the major flaws in the global food ecosystem," he says.
Today he is a chief research and development officer at Vitrafy Life Sciences, which he co-founded five years ago.
Billie McKay, season seven
Less than a month after winning, Billie moved to England to work at Heston Blumenthal's Michelin-starred The Fat Duck restaurant.
"Working there was fantastic, but it wasn't what I wanted long-term," she says, revealing her goal is to open a restaurant.
"At the moment I'm on the family farm making cheese with Mum. I'm still cooking but I don't want to rush into anything!"
In 2022, Billie returned to the MasterChef kitchen to star alongside fellow former winner Julie in Fans vs Favourites…and WON the title for a second time around.
Talk about impressive!
Elena Duggan, season eight
While she dreamed of opening a farm cafe after her win, educator Elena decided to continue her work with special needs students, teaching them leadership, hospitality skills and home economics.
"To know I'm giving something to people who are going to be our future leaders, and giving them strength, confidence and life skills to help them move forward, that's been the biggest highlight," she says.
Diana Chan, season nine
After winning by a single point, Diana used her prize money to open a pop-up restaurant in Melbourne, Chanteen.
"It serves authentic Malaysian street food, it's reasonably priced and everything is cooked to order," said Diana, who's also designed in-flight menus for Malaysia Airlines.
"I never thought the day would come that I'd fly to London and eat my own food on the flight!" she laughed.
She hosts the Turning Point podcast about her success journey and helping others find theirs. Diana also owns pre-made dumplings and dim sims brand Golden Wok.
In 2018 Asia Unplated with Diana Chan was also launched on SBS Demand.
Sashi Cheliah, season 10
After taking out the 2018 title, Sashi has been "living the dream".
He travelled to India where he spoke to The Telegraph, the then 40-year-old said he had been given "lots of offers".
"In the short-term, I am keeping things fluid. Since winning MasterChef, I have got a lot of offers. I am trying out whatever I like," he said.
Upon returning, he opened a series of pop-up restaurants called GAJA by Sashi. He eventually settled down in Adelaide and opened a full-time GAJA along with an express version.
Sashi also launched home chef kits called Sashi's Secret, and he revealed to The Advertiser his plans to open a fine-dining restaurant, The Pandan Club, in India this coming June.
He also joined Julie and Billie for the Fans and Favourites spin-off - placing in 19th place.
Larissa Takchi, season 11
At 22-years-old, Larissa became the youngest ever winner of MasterChef Australia in 2019 and was something of a dessert queen.
But the budding chef decided to keep things close to home by helping out at her family's cafe, Wildpear in the northwest Sydney suburb of Dural.
Spoiler alert: We’ve eaten there and it’s as delicious as you would imagine!
Following her win four years ago Larissa married her partner Luke and they have welcomed their first child into the world.
Emelia Jackson, season 12
Emelia took out the toughest season of MasterChef to date in Back To Win, an All-Stars edition of the series.
After placing third in season six in 2014, Emelia returned and beat out bestie Laura Sharrad and dessert king Reynold Poernomo for top prize.
Despite the huge win, Emelia kept her celebration small, mostly thanks to Melbourne's strict second wave lockdown.
"I'm in Melbourne so it was just me and my boyfriend Craig and then we had my family on Zoom," she told our sister publication Now To Love.
"I planned a viewing party, but we're in lockdown again, so I had to cancel it. It was what it was, but it was still so exciting."
Since her win, she has welcomed a daughter called Addie, and she has become an ambassador for Queen Fine Foods.
Justin Narayan, season 13
He was a fan favourite early on and Justin Narayan cooked his way to victory in 2021, beating runners-up Pete Campbell and Kishwar Chowdhury.
To make matters even sweeter, not long after his win Justin tied the knot with his fiancée Esther in a stunning ceremony that was also attended by several of his MasterChef co-stars.
"It was genuinely the best day of my life; winning MasterChef was awesome but getting married was a huge highlight – it's been a crazy year, so who knows what's next," Justin told our sister publication TV WEEK.
In the time since his exciting victory, he has been busy creating digital recipe content for his social media accounts to share with his followers.
Two years on from his win, Justin revealed to Yahoo that he didn't spend any of his prize money on himself.
"I probably should have, in retrospect."
"But I was kind of like, I'm not going to buy anything flash, I'm not going to do anything, and I don't have any regrets with it. Sometimes I'm like, 'Why did I give it away, I could've bought this now,' but at the same time, I never wanted the money to control me. I always want to be generous with it. There's heaps more where it came from. Just be generous, keep helping people, and things work out."
"The way I'm wired, I wanted to be generous with it, so I ended up donating a lot of it and giving some away to some people that I thought needed it more than me. And then made some investments with the rest of it," he added.
Nick Riewoldt, Celebrity MasterChef
Special mentions to the winner of Celebrity MasterChef 2021, former AFL player Nick Riewoldt.
The athlete was able to give the $100,000 cash prize to his charity, Maddie Riewoldt's Vision, which he co-founded after the tragic passing of his sister Maddie in 2015.
Brent Draper, season 15
Almost two months on, Brent took to his Instagram stories to reveal what he would be spending his $250,000 prize money on.
"Obviously, I bought a boat, everyone knows that," Brent joked.
"That was the one little thing that I spent on for myself..."
"The rest we [he and wife Shonleigh] are going to put into business and just set up our lives!"