food

What the MasterChef Australia 2020 contestants are doing now, one year on from the show.

To catch up on all our MasterChef Australia 2021 coverage and behind-the-scenes gossip, visit our MasterChef Australia hub page. For a daily dose of our reality TV and celebrity news, subscribe to The Spill newsletter.

The most wholesome reality show on Australian TV will return very soon, and we are really bloody excited about it.

Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen will return to judge as another 24 contestants battle it out for the title of MasterChef Australia and a cash prize of $250,000 when MasterChef Australia returns to Channel 10 on April 20.

While we wait to meet the whole new group of chefs to root for, we decided it was time to reminisce on the all-star pals we watched last year.

From fan favourites like Poh and Brendan to eventual winner Emelia, here is what's gone down with the top 10 contestants of MasterChef Australia 2020 since we last saw them on screen.

Emelia Jackson.

2020 was a pretty good year for Emelia Jackson; she won MasterChef Australia: Back to Win and announced she is pregnant with her baby.

In December, Emelia said she and partner Craig Gersbach were expecting in June 2021.

"Excuse the toilet in the background but this baby is popping today.. Sous chef coming in June," she wrote next to a photo of her cradling her bump.

ADVERTISEMENT

Since then, Emelia's been documenting her pregnancy and a heck load of drool-worthy sweet treats on Instagram. 

The winner is also open to another MasterChef return, possibly even as a judge.

In November 2020, she told Who she would accept a judging gig "without a shadow of a doubt" if offered.

"That's like a dream job!" she said.

"It was so much fun being back there [as a guest judge on 2020's Junior MasterChef] because a lot of what you don't see is how much the contestants bond with the crew on set as well so it was so nice being back in the kitchen and being on the other side of things was really interesting."

Laura Sharrad.

In March, runner-up Laura Sharrad wrote on Instagram that she wasn't okay.

She felt "sick", "violated", "unsafe", "disgusted" - all courtesy of a disturbing message sent to her via Instagram.

Laura didn't go into details about the nature of the message, except to say it was something "no woman should have to read".

"I feel a lot of things. All of them, bad things. Simply, it’s not OK," she wrote in an Instagram Story.

"I thought about posting this all afternoon, as I rarely share things about how I'm actually feeling. This is meant to be a happy place. Today I am not OK."

ADVERTISEMENT

She later thanked her followers for their kind words and support, assuring them she would be okay.

In April, Laura was announced as one of the new hosts of Channel 10's My Market Kitchen.

She and husband Max are also preparing to open their second restaurant, Fugazzi, in Adelaide's CBD in May.

Reynold Poernomo.

Dessert king Reynold Poernomo will be returning to MasterChef in 2021 in a guest role.

True to his reputation, he's recently enjoyed a very cool dessert-based partnership between his Sydney dessert bar Koi and Disney's Frozen the Musical.

Reynold might have the biggest online presence of any of the MasterChef alum, with nearly 700,000 Instagram followers and a huge 400,000 subscribers on YouTube, where he shares cooking videos - of course.

Callum Hann.

ADVERTISEMENT

Soon after leaving MasterChef in 2020, Callum Hann opened his first restaurant, Lou's Place, in the Barossa Valley, quickly followed by his second restaurant, Eleven in Adelaide city.

It was his first time in the restaurant business, having run his cooking school business Sprout since appearing in the second series of MasterChef Australia in 2010.

Reece Hignell.

ADVERTISEMENT

Up until recently, Reece Hignell had been operating his cake business Cake Boi out of home in Newcastle. But home baker no more, as Reece moved the business into a commercial space in February.

And he'd sold out of cake by 9am on its opening day - so safe to say Newy has fully embraced the sweet new addition to town.

Poh Ling Yeow.

ADVERTISEMENT

Fan fave Poh Ling Yeow is returning to MasterChef again this year as a special guest, which is definitely something to get excited about.

Since last year's season ended, Poh has been busy. 

She still regularly runs the Jamface stall at the Adelaide Showground Farmers' Market, she hosted an episode of ABC's Back Roads in February and she was named a L'Oréal Paris women of worth in March.

Earlier this year, she told The Weekend Australian she and husband Jonathan Bennett, who she met on the set of MasterChef, had split.

When speaking about her plans for 2021, Poh said: "It is about me doing the things I love and remembering who I am without another person. 

"[Husband] Jono and I broke up; it’s been the most untraumatic breakup possible and I'm single again after 12 years. I’m enjoying negotiating life on my own, enjoying the feeling of being a lone ranger – I've been in serious relationships for 24 of my 47 years.

"But Jono and I still work together and are the best of friends. I work with husband numbers one and two. Jamface is a catalogue of failed marriages! Life is stranger than fiction."

Tessa Boersma.

ADVERTISEMENT

Tessa Boersma is a cook, recipe writer, MasterChef runner-up and most recently, a skincare company founder.

Tessa started collagen supplement business The Glowing Skin Company in November 2020. 

Brendan Pang.

MasterChef's dumpling king Brendan Pang has been busy, sharing on Instagram in March 2021 that he's purchased his first house, begun renovations, continued running his dumpling food truck restaurant Bumplings and found a Perth venue to host in-person cooking classes.

And that's all on top of presenting a Ted Talk called "The easiest thing to be in this world is YOU", published also in March.

Phew.

In the speech, he spoke about starting an architecture degree before finding a passion for social work and working in Broome.

After a while, he realised he wanted to work creatively and be his own boss - which was when MasterChef came along.

Feature image: Channel 10.

00:00 / ???