Meet the contestants competing on MasterChef Australia 2024

There's never been a season like this.
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After almost a year of eager anticipation, a new season of MasterChef Australia is almost upon us!

Returning to screens on April 22nd, the new season will see a new batch of talented home cooks compete for the highly coveted title of ‘MasterChef‘ as well as the life-changing $250,000 prize money that comes with it.

WATCH NOW: MasterChef 2024 Teaser Trailer.

It’ll be a new chapter for the beloved reality cooking competition this year which will see returnee judge (and former winner) Andy Allen be joined by three new judges in the MasterChef kitchen: Poh Ling Yeow, Sofia Levin, and Jean-Christophe Novelli.

Scroll on to meet the aspiring chefs set to compete in season 16 of MasterChef Australia…

Khristian Walker. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Khristian Walker, 26, VIC

Counting Jamie Oliver as one of his idols, Khristian is a competitor who always wears his heart on his sleeve.

The insurance services worker says he plans to deliver big flavours, meats, and Italian and Greek cuisine in the competition.

Savindri Perera. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Savindri Perera, 30, SA

Known by her friends and family as Sav, this passionate Sri Lankan home cook – who won’t make any meal without her holy trinity (aka onion, garlic, and curry leaves) – is sure to bring sass and spice into the MasterChef kitchen. 

But will her zinger dishes be too much for the judges?

Juan De La Cruz Torales Villarreal.. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Juan De La Cruz Torales Villarreal, 39, NSW

With a zest for life and a passion for good food, this smiley Argentinian is sure to become a fast fan favourite in the competition. 

“It’s so incredible to be on MasterChef and look at all the judges,” Juan shared in a candid confessional in a promo.

Josh Perry. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Josh Perry, 43, TAS

He’s as true blue Aussie as they get, but it remains to be seen how this meat and three veg butcher from Tasmania will cope with change in the MasterChef kitchen.

Taught to cook with heart by the matriarchs of his family, Josh says his strengths lie in cooking with homegrown meat and locally harvested seafood.

Nat Thaipun. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Nat Thaipun, 28, VIC

This adventurous home cook is set to plate up a dish that the MasterChef kitchen has never seen, the question remains however if she’ll be able to pull it off!

Growing up with parents who ran a Thai restaurant, Nat says she hopes she’ll be able to represent her culture through her food, personality and style.

Stephen Dennis. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Stephen Dennis, 62, QLD

He’s spent plenty of time out in the bush and has even faced off against a crocodile, but to Stephen, facing the MasterChef judges is way more “terrifying.”

Believe it or not, this Queenslander was actually meant to take part in season one, but a cyclone put a halt to those plans. Some 15 years later Stephen has now returned to chase his MasterChef dream.

Sumeet Saigal. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Sumeet Saigal, 46, NSW

A love of food is deeply rooted in Sumeet Saigal’s Punjabi culture.

Raised in Bangalore, India, she says her family, especially her grandfather, are her biggest culinary inspirations.

Lachlan Whittle. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Lachlan Whittle, 34, VIC

Having learned how to cook delicious dishes over a fire growing up, Lachlan will surely be able to adapt and overcome any challenge the judges throw his way. 

According to the landscape gardener, his greatest strength in the competition will be his ability to balance “sweet, sour, fat and acid.” 

Sue Bazely. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Sue Bazely, 58, VIC

As a second-generation Australian, Sue says she has strong memories of sharing varied cuisines with her multicultural community full of fellow immigrants in Adelaide when growing up.

James Holmes. (Credit: Channel Ten)

James Holmes, 38, WA

Growing up in England, aka the gateway to Europe, James’ love of good food grew from his extensive travels where he has sampled and been inspired by all manners of cuisines.

Alex Crisp. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Alex Crisp, 27, WA

With a background as mixed as this Freemantle native (Danish and South African), its no wonder Alex has a love of cooking with quality ingredients. 

Her daily exposure to the food scene has further fuelled the fire inside, the sales representative confirming that her future culinary career is more than just a pipeline dream.

Harry Butterfield. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Harry Butterfield, 29, QLD

Following in the footsteps of 2023 MasterChef winner Brent Draper, Harry has high hopes of becoming this season’s “resident seafood guru.”

With a passion for sustainable harvesting of seafood, and Northern Italian, English, and German heritage, Harry is sure to be a mixed bag in the kitchen.

Gillian Dinh. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Gillian Dinh, 31, NSW

With Italian and Vietnamese heritage, meals in Gillian’s household growing up were anything but ordinary. 

Banking big on flavours and aesthetically pleasing plates, this professional lettering artist says she will bring a “tonne of creativity” to the competition.

David Tan. (Credit: Channel Ten)

David Tan, 30, QLD

Growing up in Singapore where eating is described as the national hobby, David is excited to bring his passion for good food to the MasterChef kitchen. 

And with a background in pharmacology and toxicology, we are sure he will master all the ingredients thrown his way into mouthwatering meals.

Lourdes Leschen. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Lourdes Leschen, 22, VIC

As the youngest to compete in the MasterChef kitchen this year, Lourdes knows she will have her work cut out for her. 

But what she may lack in experience, she more than makes up for with passion, with a love of Spanish cuisine, and a beloved collection of cookbooks that inspire every meal she makes.

Josh Clarke. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Josh Clarke, 27, QLD

This coffee roaster from Queens, NYC says his Irish mum and Jamaican dad are his biggest foodie inspirations and is looking to kickstart his culinary career after pressing pause momentarily in favour of fatherhood.

Lily Davies. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Lily Davies, 30, NSW

With a chef mother who was trained at Le Cordon Bleu, it’s no wonder that Lily has a love of cooking and creating delicious dishes inspired by her travels from across the world. 

Not to forget her British roots, Lily says she is inspired by the likes of Jamie Oliver, Clare Smyth, Mary Berry, Julius Roberts, and Thomas Straker.

Darrsh Clarke. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Darrsh Clarke, 31, WA

This self-taught cook describes his cooking as “free-flowing” and inspired by his father, a chef in an Indian restaurant, and his grandmother, who shared with him many Sri Lankan food traditions and a deep-rooted love of baking.

Mimi Wong. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Mimi Wong, 25, NSW

Born and bred in the foodie capital of the world (Hong Kong), Mimi says her cooking is steeped in love and tradition, and enjoys playing in the grey space of Asian cooking when it comes to her time in the kitchen.

Jonathan Hooper. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Jonathan Hooper, 29, NSW

This carpenter may look tough on the outside but he’s a self-described “nonna’s boy” through and through.

Inspired by the likes of Matty Matheson, Morgan Hipworth, and Jamie Oliver, Jonathan says his strengths lie in home-style comfort food, strong bold flavours, and slow-cooked meats.

Snezana Calic. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Snezana Calic, 40, VIC

Croatian-born and Serbia-raised Snezana grew up influenced by both Mediterranean flavours and heartier style Serbian dishes. 

Learning everything she knows about cooking from observing her mum, Snezana says she usually favours making quick and easy homely meals.

Steph Griffen. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Steph Griffen, 38, QLD

Events manager Steph says that being cast as a contestant on MasterChef has kickstarted her food career.

With a strength in savoury dishes, Steph says she is confident that she’ll be able to balance flavours and “turning the simple into something truly memorable.”

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