Winning MasterChef Australia was clearly a recipe for success for these reality TV favourites, with the likes of Julie Goodwin, Adam Liaw and co. making all their culinary dreams come true after taking out the cooking competition.
Julie Goodwin, Season 1 winner
After impressing the judges with her family-style cooking, the mum-of-three quit her IT job to write several cookbooks, become a TV and radio star, and launch her own cooking school. "None of this would have been possible without MasterChef," she says.
"To think I won a cooking competition and now work in breakfast radio is wonderful, and I'm really enjoying this new chapter!"
Adam Liaw, Season 2 winner
Adam gave up his job as a highly paid lawyer in Tokyo to go on the show... and he's never looked back! "I've been lucky enough that my series for SBS, Destination Flavour, has been running now for six seasons," he says. "I've also written six cookbooks, and I'm really proud of each of them."
He also married since winning the show, and he and Asami have two kids, Christopher, four, and Anna, two.
Kate Bracks, Season 3 winner
Kate has travelled the country as an ambassador for the Cancer Council's Eat It To Beat It program. "The life experiences have been more rewarding than the prize money," says the mum-of-three, who's also bought a hobby farm in Orange, NSW. "We don't eat off the land entirely, but the ultimate goal would be to do more of that."
Andy Allen, Season 4 winner
Six years after taking out top spot, Andy is co-owner of the Three Blue Ducks restaurants. "I've got a career path thanks to MasterChef, and I do a lot of different things in the industry," says the former electrician. "The biggest thing for me is being a part of the restaurant group. We have built something pretty strong and are about to open our fourth restaurant in Brisbane. I feel like I'm only just getting started in the big bad world of hospitality."
Emma Dean, Season 5 winner
Five years after taking out the title, the former town planner has published her own cookbook and co-hosts daily cooking show My Market Kitchen – now in its third season – with her 2013 MasterChef runner-up Lynton Tapp. "I don't have a restaurant because I am a bit risk adverse," she says. "However, the show is really fun and the best part is I get to do it with my best mate!"
Brent Owens, Season 6 winner
Since scooping the $250,000 prize money, Brent has travelled the world, trying to make a positive impact with his knowledge of food. "Being exposed to starvation in foreign countries made me recognise the major flaws in the global food ecosystem," he says. Now Brent's launching a food technology company that aims to address some of those issues.
Billie McKay, Season 7 winner
Less than a month after winning, Billie moved to England to work at Heston Blumenthal's Michelin-starred The Fat Duck restaurant. "Working there was fantastic but it wasn't what I wanted long-term," she says, revealing her goal is to open a restaurant. "At the moment I'm on the family farm making cheese with Mum. I'm still cooking but I don't want to rush into anything!"
Elena Duggan, Season 8 winner
While she dreamed of opening a farm cafe after her win, educator Elena decided to continue her work with special needs students, teaching them leadership, hospitality skills and home economics. "To know I'm giving something to people who are going to be our future leaders, and giving them strength, confidence and life skills to help them move forward, that's been the biggest highlight," she says.
Diana Chen, Season 9 winner
After winning by a single point, Diana used her prize money to open a pop-up restaurant in Melbourne. "I opened Chanteen eight weeks ago. It serves authentic Malaysian street food, it's reasonably priced and everything is cooked to order," says Diana, who's also designed in-flight menus for Malaysia Airlines. "I never thought the day would come that I'd fly to London and eat my own food on the flight!" she laughs.