The Rhiannon & Cath Show? MasterChef Australia Runner-Up Responds To Fan Requests

Image courtesy of Channel 10
MasterChef Australia 2023 contestants Cath Collins and Rhiannon Anderson
She may have finished as runner-up in the grand finale last night, but MasterChef Australia's Rhiannon Anderson hasn't gone home empty-handed. As well as receiving $40,000 in prize money, the 46-year-old's made some beautiful friendships that she'll treasure for life.
Avid fans of the cooking show couldn't ignore the sweet bond between Anderson and co-star Cath Collins this season, and some have even called for the duo to have their own spin-off cooking show.
"It's so funny," Anderson tells Refinery29 Australia, saying she wouldn't be against the idea if the opportunity arose.
"Honestly, when I started this journey, I always sort of said I'd love to have a restaurant in Townsville. But after doing it [the show] and using all the beautiful produce, now I just want to travel around Australia, do a TV show and promote local fresh produce."
Anderson, 46, and Collins, 54, not only bonded over their love for food, but their passion to prove that age and gender aren't barriers to achieving success in the food world.
"I definitely wanted to do it for the females out there, especially the mums," says Anderson. "Your life's not over once the kids leave home. Just keep chasing your dreams. I didn't ever think I'd hit this age and go on MasterChef."
Image courtesy of Channel 10
MasterChef Australia 2023 grand finalists Rhiannon Anderson and Brent Draper with judges Andy Allen, Jock Zonfrillo and Melissa Leong
Her own mother — who passed away in 2021 after having ovarian cancer — was a huge influence. She not only taught her how to create some incredibly delicious dishes, but also encouraged Anderson to apply for the cooking show. Anderson honoured her mum in the grand finale by cooking a crispy pork dish she'd learnt from her.
"When I started the show, she'd only been gone for a year," Anderson explains.
"But prior to her passing away, she was living with me before she went to palliative care. I said to her, 'I think I'm going to do MasterChef' and she said, 'You really need to, this is your year'. I said to her, 'You're not going to be here to watch it' and she said, 'I'll be watching'."
Competing on a fast-paced show such as MasterChef is a unique experience, and Anderson also leaned on the show's female judge, Melissa Leong for support.
"She is such an inspirational woman to me and she's just so formidable. Having her there really gave me the strength to push through. It's like, as women, let's just fight for it and show other women what we can do, prop each other up and go for it."
Anderson finished as runner-up against Brent Draper in the grand finale, but says she couldn't have thought of a more worthy winner for this season.
"He's a really good person and he has worked so hard in and out of the kitchen on his mental health and cooking skills," she says. "It's a very well-deserved win and I never once walked away thinking, 'God, I wish I'd won'. I walked away thinking, 'Wow, I'm so proud of him'."
This year's season of MasterChef was different to last year's season, MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites, which featured 12 returning contestants from previous seasons and 12 amateur home cooks.
The 2023 contestants were 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.
Now fans of the popular cooking franchise are gearing up for a fresh spin-off, MasterChef: Desserts Masters. With Melissa Leong and internationally renowned chef Amaury Guichon stepping in as judges, the new program will air on Channel 10 and 10 Play later this year.
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