Meet MasterChef Australia 2023’s Jessica Perri — An Optometrist With A Love For Making ‘Pretty Pasta’

Image courtesy of Channel 10
MasterChef Australia 2023 contestant Jessica Perri
If there's a pasta-themed challenge on MasterChef Australia this year, Jessica Perri could be in with a good chance of nailing it. The optometrist has a penchant for creating different types of the Italian favourite, and her dream is to make a living from the "pretty pasta" she makes.
Food has always been a big part of Perri's life, as she learnt to cook from her two Nonnas from the age of three. Once one of them passed away, Perri realised the gift and responsibility she had been given to continue the family legacy through food.
Perri and her husband share two children, and being away from her kids to film MasterChef was probably the most challenging part of participating on the reality TV show.
"First cook in the MasterChef kitchen. What a mix of emotions- joy, nerves, uncertainty. It’s also my first time away from my 5yo and 3yo - and this raises the stakes for me," the 35-year-old wrote on Instagram as the first episode aired.
"For me cooking is cathartic, and now MasterChef has helped sharpen my focus. I want to make sure that every minute I’m away from my children has been used to improve my culinary skills. I’m here to give it my everything for me, for my kids, and for my late Nonna, whose guidance and nurturing shaped my skill and love for pasta making."
Perri is one of 18 new faces on the show's 15th season, which is different to last year's season MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites, which featured 12 returning contestants from previous seasons and 12 amateur home cooks.
The contestants are Adi NevgiAlice Han, Amy Tanner, Andrea Puglisi, Antonio Cruz Vaamonde, Brent Draper, Cath Collins, Declan Cleary, Grace Jupp, Jessica Perri, Larissa SewellMalissa Fedele, Phil Conway, Ralph Kahango, Rhiannon Anderson, Robbie CooperRue Mupedzi and Theo Loizou.
In addition to MasterChef judges Melissa Leong, Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo (who recently passed away), this year there's a star-studded lineup of guest judges including Jamie Oliver, Curtis Stone, Maggie Beer, Rick Stein and Peter Gilmore.
MasterChef Australia airs Sunday to Wednesday at 7:30pm on Channel 10 and 10 Play.
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