Mimi Wong makes an emotional return to her Hong Kong roots in MasterChef Australia

“There were lots of tears."
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MasterChef Australia has been a real rollercoaster for high school teacher Mimi Wong – from the lows of forgetting to plate up her sauce in a sauce challenge, to the highs of wowing dessert king Adriano Zumbo with her croquembouche during Sweet Week.

“Burnout is real – it’s [the show] exhausting,” Mimi, 25, tells TV WEEK. “Everyone’s so talented, and yet the schedule and pressure gets to us sometimes. I’m one of the younger people and I didn’t have the wisdom of age!”

(Image: Ten)

Despite the bumpy road, Mimi made it to Hong Kong Week, which was meaningful for the budding chef. Mimi was born in Hong Kong and moved to Sydney with her family when she was a year old. She and her brother returned to live with their grandmother in Hong Kong when she was 11.

It’s under her roof that Mimi learnt the art of Cantonese cooking, so it was surreal to go back to Hong Kong as part of MasterChef.

“It seemed so serendipitous that was the location [we were going to],” Mimi says. “I was overwhelmed, and thought, ‘This has to mean something, surely?’”

Mimi found time to visit family and says it was an emotional reunion.

(Image: Ten)

“I needed that release of having somebody else take care of me,” she says. “I went to see my mum, stepdad and grandma. That contact, even just a hug, meant the world. There were lots of cathartic tears.”

Mimi also showed the other contestants around Hong Kong.

“It was a special joy to hang out with [Tassie butcher] Pezza. He’s never left Australia, so it was wonderful to bring him into my world and show him some of my food. I’m never going to forget it.”

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