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A 'MasterChef injury' and a new romance: Everything we know about fan favourite Brendan Pang.

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Brendan Pang has been gracing our TV screens for the past few weeks on MasterChef: Back To Win.

The 27-year-old contestant from season 10 has returned to compete against various other highly-talented cooks, including Poh Ling Yeow, Reynold Poernomo and his TV bestie, Reece Hignell.

If you’re not watching MasterChef 2020, here is what you’re missing out on. Post continues below.

Video by Channel 10

While Brendan comes across as the happy-go-lucky, young dumpling chef on-screen, there are plenty more layers to him that aren’t shown while the cameras are rolling.

Here is everything you need to know about Brendan Pang.

 

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Absolutely ecstatic to share with you all a little secret I’ve been keeping to myself #MasterChefAU 2020 I’m baaaack… ????

A post shared by BRENDAN PANG (@brendan_pang) on

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Brendan was born in Perth, Western Australia. Soon after he was born, his parents took him back to his homeland, Mauritius, where he lived for four years.

Once returning back to WA, his parents separated and he spent the majority of his time with his brother, mother and grandmother. And it was those two women and their Mauritian roots that taught him how to cook.

“When I went back home, I would insist on preparing my own breakfast and helping my mum bake. Both of these women inspired me to pursue a career in food,” he told Suitcase Magazine.

“Food has always been central to my family, so when I helped my mum start her own cake business and my uncle open his café, I knew I wanted to do something similar.”

 

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Happy Birthday to the most amazing and important person in my life (Mum), I couldn’t love you more! ❤️

A post shared by BRENDAN PANG (@brendan_pang) on

“I saw my dad regularly growing up. But most of my time was spent with Mum. She loves her food too, so my love of that comes from her.

“I looked after my brother when Mum was working, which definitely made me a lot stronger. Plus, I cooked from a young age,” he explained.

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In 2016, Brendan graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor in Social Work. And soon after, he landed his dream role as a social worker in the field of Child Protection, in Broome, Western Australia.

However, not long after, Brendan realised that food was the real passion and he applied for season 10 of MasterChef Australia.

“I’ve given up the job for good now,” Brendan told TV Week.

“It does make me nervous – I feel like it puts a lot of pressure on me, because I quit my job. Now, I need to make it worth it, because of what I’ve given up.”

During the 2018 MasterChef season, Brendan was eliminated because of an undercooked steak. However, judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris, all saw his potential and brought him back later on in the show.

Brendan also injured his hand during his time on the show.

During a service challenge, Brendan tripped up the stairs while holding a smashed olive oil bottle. It resulted in a huge gash across his hand and he needed 13 stitches.

“There was a lot of blood. It’s probably the most horrifying injury I’ve ever had,” he told TV Week.

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Image: Channel 10.

"I've been quite lucky. It's healed really nicely and my hand is fine. I didn't cut through any tendons or muscles.

"It's kind of funny. It was just a freak accident," he shared.

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In the end, Brendan came ninth on MasterChef 2018.

Since appearing on that season, Brendan has opened up his own dumpling truck named Bumplings in Fremantle, Western Australia.

And this year, he released his cookbook, This is a Book About Dumplings.

 

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HELLO WORLD.⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣I am SO excited to announce the long awaited arrival of a new member in the Bumpling’s family. No gender reveal party necessary - IT’S A BOOK!⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣“THIS IS A BOOK ABOUT DUMPLINGS” comes out on May 26th in just over 3 weeks!⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣For all the Perth locals and supporters of my dumplings kitchen (and firstborn) - Bumplings’ 1st bday B O N A N Z A feat. my book launch is coming up on 5 July 2020!!!⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣COME ON DOWN and grab a personalised signed copy from one proud dad, plus some of the tasty eats I’ve been belting out on #MasterChefAU Back to Win!⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣This little baby is my pride and joy, but if you can’t make it down to grab a copy from me in person, follow the pre-order links in my bio, pretty soon it can be YOUR pride and joy too! ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣Good things come to those who wait though. I will be busting out some personalised signed copies through my website soon enough.⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣Stay tuned fam ????

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On a personal note, Brendan has been dating Nick Fimognari since 2019, and he publicly came out on social media around the same time.

 

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I couldn’t have asked for more ????

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Posting to both his Facebook and Instagram pages to raise awareness for mental health, he wrote, "My name is Brendan Pang and I’m 26 years old... but, for as long as I can remember and up until the age of 24 I struggled with my sense of identity.

"As a gay male, I had feelings of being “different” very early on, and as I navigated the bumpy road into adulthood, I went through some pretty dark times from feeling pressured to change who I was, to experiencing high levels of social anxiety - oh the list goes on.
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"Thankfully, with the help of a strong and supportive network (my family and friends), I was able to not only survive the complexity of mental health, but thrive and become a stronger, happier, comfortable and proud ME."

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My name is Brendan Pang and I’m 26 years old... but, for as long as I can remember and up until the age of 24 I struggled with my sense of identity. As a gay male, I had feelings of being “different” very early on, and as I navigated the bumpy road into adulthood, I went through some pretty dark times from feeling pressured to change who I was, to experiencing high levels of social anxiety - oh the list goes on.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Thankfully, with the help of a strong and supportive network (my family and friends), I was able to not only survive the complexity of mental health, but thrive and become a stronger, happier, comfortable and proud ME. I’m sharing this story with you because sadly, this isn’t the case for all young people out there. We are still losing too many young people to suicide, 1 in 5 teens say they have high levels of distress, and 1 in 12 Australian young people aged 12-17 have self-harmed. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ As one of the official Champions for the @telethon_kids Institute’s Embrace program (Western Australia’s first research centre devoted to the mental health of children and young people aged 0-25), I invite you to join me to #supportembrace by sharing your own story or making a donation (however small) at embrace.telethonkids.org.au #telethonkids ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Let’s support our young people. Photo by @t.r.i.s.m

A post shared by BRENDAN PANG (@brendan_pang) on

And now, after two years off our TV screens, he is back on this season of MasterChef: Back to Win.

“The last time I was on the show I felt like a had a bit of unfinished business,” he told Confidential.

“I really started to develop a food personality, a food identity. So I did want to come back and show Australia, and the rest of the world, the kind of food I’m most passionate about and that I like to cook.”

Now competing against 24 returning contestants (half of which have gone home at the time of writing), Brendan has been cooking some seriously drool-worthy food.

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And besides that, fans are now low-key in love with his bromance with fellow contestant, Reece Hignell.

On Monday night's episode, the two cooks were captains of two rival teams. And despite both being annoyed they had to cook off against each other, the friendly banter between them melted our hearts.

"It's difficult going head-to-head against Reece, my best friend in the competition. But there is a big fire in me to beat him today. Otherwise, I'll never hear the end of it," Brendan said.

 

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May the best bestie win! Most likely will be me @brendan_pang

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While Reece shared, "So, Brendan and I first met at the auditions in Season 10, formed a really good friendship. I think he's an incredible cook. I respect him a lot. So, yeah, I'm a bit threatened by versing against my bestie today."

Oh, and fans love their friendship so much they have named it #Breece.

Feature image: Instagram/@brendan_pang

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