Meet Your MasterChef Australia 2024 Contestants

Step up to your benches, because MasterChef Australia is returning to our TV screens very, very soon.
The 16th season of the much-loved reality show premieres at 7:30pm on Monday, April 22 on Channel 10 and 10Play.
This season will see 22 of Australia's best home cooks battling it out in the MasterChef kitchen in the hopes of being crowned Australia's next 'MasterChef'.
The cooking show will look a little different this year, with Channel 10 announcing last year that Melissa Leong has stepped away as co-host to focus on the new spin-off series, MasterChef: Dessert Masters. Andy Allen is returning to the judging panel alongside new judges Poh Ling Yeow, Sofia Levin and Jean-Christophe Novelli. Fan favourite Jamie Oliver is also joining to show on a more permanent basis as a guest judge.
With the premiere almost here, Channel 10 has introduced us to the new faces we'll see cooking in the MasterChef kitchen this season. This season's contestants include Jamie Oliver's biggest fan, a Sri Lankan Australian with a knack for spice and sass, and a man who had a close encounter with a crocodile and lived to tell the tale.
Here's everything we know about the MasterChef Australia 2024 contestants so far:

Khristian Walker, 26, VIC

Khristian might just be guest judge Jamie Oliver's biggest fan.
In his promo clip, Khristian explains that he was raised by a mum who had to work a lot, so he learnt how to cook for himself and his siblings by watching Oliver on the TV.
"I knew it, I knew it, I knew it, it's friggin' Jamie Oliver!" he says in the clip. "This man is one of my heroes and he's like 10 steps away from me."
"I cried when you walked in," he explains before Oliver walks over and gives him a hug. "If it wasn't for you I wouldn't be cooking. My mum worked so much that she would be like 'I can't cook for you guys, you're going to have to work it out, I have to work'."
"So I turn on the TV, and the first thing I see is this beautiful man," he continues, gesturing towards the TV chef. "He taught me what I know today."
Oliver then announces that the winner of MasterChef Australia will be going to London to see him and he will "look after them".

Savindri Perera, 30, SA

Sav is one of the funniest contestants to ever grace the MasterChef kitchen.
The Sri Lankan Australian is a big fan of spicy dishes, punchy one-liners and Nigella Lawson.
"I want the judges to enjoy my food and I also want the Sri Lankan aunties to go, 'Oh yeah, she's doing good'," she explains in her promo clip.

Stephen Dennis, 62, QLD

While Stephen looks like your typical Aussie bloke, he's serving up classic French food in the MasterChef kitchen.
Stephen has spent a lot of time in the Aussie outback and proudly wears a crocodile tooth around his neck that he got after a close encounter with a croc.
"The crocodile went to grab me and it grabbed the tree instead and the tooth broke off... instead of my leg," he explains to judge Jean-Christophe Novelli in his promo clip.

Juan De La Crus Torales Villarreal, 39, NSW

Juan might just have the biggest smile the competition has ever seen.
He's so excited to be in the MasterChef kitchen, he even cheers for himself as he's walking up to present his dish to the judges.
"It's so incredible to be a MasterChef and looking at the judges.... WOW!" he says in his promo clip.

Nat Thaipun, 28, VIC

According to her promo, Nat will serve up "one of the strangest dishes the MasterChef kitchen has ever seen".
"It's a Kangaroo Larb," she explains in the clip, before judge Andy Allen replies "Interesting... because there's also native Australian ingredients in it?"
But will she be able to pull it off?

Josh Perry, 43, TAS

Josh is a farmer from Tassie who is about to show his 'sweet side' in the MasterChef kitchen.
While Josh has a knack for turning meat and three veg into something extraordinary, he will be put to the test when he has to serve up a dessert to the judges.
"I like that fact that our rugged butcher from Tassie is about to show his sweet side," guest judge Jamie Oliver says in his promo clip. "Alright... let's see if it's cooked in the middle."

Lachlan Whittle, 34, VIC

Lachlan is a landscape gardener and dad to toddler Lily. While growing up, Lachlan's dad taught him to cook over fire near the beach, igniting his passion for food.
He believes his secret weapon in the competition is his ability to balance sweet, sour, fat and acid.

Lily Davies, 30, NSW

British-born Lily learnt how to cook from her Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef mum. While she now lives in Sydney, she still finds her greatest inspiration from British chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Mary Berry and Clare Smyth.

Lourdes Leschen, 22, VIC

Growing up in Melbourne with her mother Laly and Yiayia Ana Maria, Lourdes learnt how to cook Spanish food from an early age. She loves nothing better than working through her huge collection of cookbooks and is ready to soak up the judge's wisdom.

Mimi Wong, 25, NSW

Mimi spent her tween and teen years living in Hong Kong with her grandmother who always filled her tiny apartment with the scent of poached snapper, soy-braised chicken or coconut and red date syrup on the stove top. After moving back to Sydney, Mimi started exploring her love of Cantonese food and Asian fusion.

Alex Crisp, 27, WA

Alex is a sales representative from WA who knows her love of cooking is more than just a hobby. Her love of food and her cooking is influenced by her mother's Danish heritage and her father's South African heritage.

Darrsh Clarke, 31, WA

Darrsh's cooking style is heavily influenced by his late father, who was a chef at an Indian restaurant, and his Sri Lankan grandmother, who introduced him to his love of baking. He's looking forward to showing off both his savoury and sweet skills in the MasterChef kitchen.

David Tan, 30, QLD

David's love of food developed early when he was growing up in Singapore. David has been busy honing his cooking skills since moving to Australia seven years ago.

Gillian Dinh, 31, NSW

Gillian's love of food is heavily influenced by her childhood growing up with an Italian mum and a Vietnamese father. A lettering artist by trade, Gillian is hoping her creativity in the kitchen will impress the MasterChef judges.

Harry Butterfield, 29, QLD

Brisbane-based Harry is passionate about the ocean and sustainably harvested seafood. He's hoping to use his unique heritage and love of cooking to become MasterChef 2024's resident seafood guru.

James Holmes, 38, WA

James is a primary school teacher with a love of international cuisine. He is hoping his time in the MasterChef kitchen will show his kids and students that they can step up to any challenge.

Jonathan Hooper, 29, NSW

Jonathan's nonna first taught him to cook around 10 years old. His passion is comfort food with BBQ, Mexican, Japanese and Italian influences. His biggest influences are Jamie Oliver and Morgan Hipworth and he's hopeful he will be able to perform under the pressure of the MasterChef kitchen.

Josh Clarke, 27, QLD

Josh grew up in Queens, New York, with an Irish mum and Jamaican dad. While backpacking around Australia in 2018, Josh met and fell in love with his wife, Laura. Now a dad, Josh is hoping his MasterChef experience will let him finally chase his food dreams.

Snezana Calic, 40, VIC

Snezana started learning how to cook around seven years old by observing her mother in the kitchen. She loves cooking flavourful, homey meals influenced by her Croatian and Serbian heritage.

Steph Griffen, 28, QLD

Steph is an event manager who is ready to take the next step in her food journey. She loves cooking meat and savoury dishes, and turning simple dishes into something extraordinary.

Sue Bazely, 58, VIC

Sue grew up in Adelaide's multicultural migrant community with her Anglo-Indian father and Danish mother. She has fond memories of tending to the family vegetable patch and sharing meals with their multicultural neighbours.
She hopes her time in the MasterChef kitchen will prove to her adult children that anything is possible.

Sumeet Saigal, 46, NSW

Sumeet grew up in Bangalore, India, and has fond memories of her parents throwing parties and cooking big feasts. Her paternal grandfather's love of cooking and experimenting in the kitchen rubbed off on her from a young age.
After watching their mother in the kitchen for years, Sumeet's 17-year-old twins encouraged her to apply for MasterChef 2024.
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