MasterChef: Back to Win has graced our screens for seven glorious weeks now, serving up some fierce competition and mouthwatering dishes that we have absolutely no chance at recreating at home.
With only 11 contestants left this season, households all over the country are nervously cheering on their favourite contestants, including loveable 33-year-old chef Simon Toohey.
If you’re not watching MasterChef: Back to Win, here’s what you’re missing out on. Post continues below.
We first met Simon last year, when he placed third in the competition.
For Simon, getting as far as the top five was “a ridiculous concept”.
“It’s awesome, I’m not going to say no to it… but, who am I right now?!” he told 10 Daily last year.
Throughout his time on the show, Simon as proved himself a whizz in the kitchen but cooking wasn’t actually his first choice of a career.
“I wanted to be a psychologist, but my marks for my final year of school exams didn’t reach what I needed to be one,” Simon told flora & fauna earlier this year.
“So I went into the first job that came to me, working in a tiny pizza restaurant, down the road from my house. It was so busy and I learnt to work hard and fast. I loved the speed and the food and I got paid doing something I loved. I was hooked.”
Simon’s love of food and hospitality eventually took him all over the world.
After living in Byron Bay for a few years, the 33-year-old chef bought a one-way ticket to the United Kingdom, where he lived for five years.
There, Simon worked as a cocktail bar manager and eventually earned his bar the title of the best cocktail menu and best high volume cocktail bar at the Tales of the Cocktail awards in New Orleans.
While it was an incredible achievement, Simon realised he wanted to pursue his dream of cooking.
“I always loved food and as my late-night, hard-partying and long hours started to take a toll, I decided it was time to move to the thing I was craving the most. I studied Gastronomy in Edinburgh and loved it. Finally, I made the leap into the food world,” he told the publication.