Masterchef

MasterChef Australia's Ben Borsht opens up about his illness

'I felt I had nothing to lose!'

In this week's MasterChef Australia pressure test with Gordon Ramsay, contestant Ben Borscht fought for his place in the competition alongside Michelle Walsh and Chloe Carroll.

In the beginning of the episode, which saw Michelle leave the competition, Ben mentioned a recent illness that had given him a 'new perspective.'

"I need to stay here I'm not ready to go home yet," Ben said ahead of the pressure test. "Last year I wasn't very well and it really gave me a new perspective on life. You've just got to take every opportunity, really take life to the max. I'm gonna fight to stay in this competition."

In 2017 Ben was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects about one in 250 Australians aged between five and 49.

"I had to leave my job as a finishing foreman after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis," Ben tells TV WEEK.

MasterChef Australia contestant Ben had to leave his job after being diagnosed with ulcerative coliti.

Unable to return to work in the building industry, it was Ben's best friend and wife, Caitlyn, who signed him up for MasterChef Australia.

"After becoming sick last year, I felt I had nothing to lose," he says of agreeing to apply for the hit cooking show. "I want to win and to prove that, no matter what happens in life, you can do anything you set your mind to.

"My family have been really supportive and are excited to see how I go on the show."

Ben made it safely through Gordon Ramsay's pressure test round.

Ben's friends and family would have been thrilled watching last night's episode, where the 31-year-old contestant scored incredible compliments from Gordon.

"I think what was exciting for me was watching how composed you are," Gordon told the aspiring chef. "You did something today that I've never seen anywhere, not only were you focusing on your dish, you were actually helping Chloe as well, which tells me a lot about your spirit and your generosity.

"That is the sign of a true chef," Gordon finished.

Ben told Gordon - and MasterChef Australia judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston - that he was thrilled to have finally found his passion in cooking.

"I never thought I really had a passion," Ben said in the episode. "I love fishing, I love playing golf, you name it and I can love it. But I don't really have a passionate bone that I've found yet, and cooking really brings that out of me. To see where this journey takes me, I'm really excited just to be a part of it."

We can't wait to see what Ben does next in the competition!

MasterChef Australia airs Monday to Thursday, and Sunday, 7.30pm, Network Ten.