Masterchef

EXCLUSIVE: MasterChef Australia 2021 winner Justin Narayan admits he has "PTSD" when he watches this year's season

''Your heart starts beating and then you think 'Oh wait I'm on my couch at home, I'm safe, I don't have to cook anything'.''

By Alex Lilly
It's been a whole year since Justin Narayan was crowned the MasterChef Australia champ, but even he can't believe it.
"It's absolutely mental that it's been a year, that flew by!" he laughs in an exclusive chat with Now To Love, before admitting "life's completely changed for the better".
"I won MasterChef, I got married a few months later which was sick so it's all been brand new exploring different things and having opportunities to do stuff in food and work with some incredible partnerships. I've been absolutely loving it. To call it work feels like a joke, it's unbelievable."
It's been a year since Justin won MasterChef Australia and he can't believe it! (Image: Network 10)
He may have gone through the MasterChef journey firsthand, but you can still expect Justin to tune in for the Fans and Favourites season.
"It's heaps more fun watching it but also heaps more stressful just knowing what's going on and happening behind the scenes and how they're feeling," he says.
"It's definitely a little bit of PTSD reliving some of the stuff – your heart starts beating and then you think 'Oh wait I'm on my couch at home, I'm safe, I don't have to cook anything.'"
"It's heaps more fun watching it but also heaps more stressful just knowing what's going on and happening behind the scenes and how they're feeling." (Image: Network 10)
Despite the stressful nature of the TV kitchen, Justin has nothing but love for his MasterChef experience as well as the unsung heroes in the production team and the "lovely" judges Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.
"They're super passionate about food but also super passionate about championing people as well. All three of them have had quite humble beginnings so they understand the journey and know how to give guidance and encouragement so I loved working with them," he says.
"They all brought something so different to the show too. Jock's the wildest person – just manic - and knows so much about food. You don't know if he's joking or serious or what's going on half the time, but I love that. Andy's super cruisey and chill, he's someone you can grab a beer with, and Mel will start talking about food and you want to cry!"
Justin 's also delighted to see Melissa up for the coveted Gold Logie at this year's TV WEEK Logie Awards and admits he's already voted for her!
"She's lovely and I think it's cool to see that kind of representation be nominated and recognised for a Gold Logie. I think it's a really good thing for television, a really good thing for her and a really good thing for MasterChef."
The MasterChef alum even admits that more reality TV could be in his future
"The whole process and chaos of creating a TV show is so interesting," Justin says.
"I would definitely be keen to do whatever else comes my way, it would be super fun. Survivor, yes, I'm A Celebrity, why not? I'll try everything once. I'm curious and I want to figure out how they make these shows.
"I always love pushing myself and giving myself a challenge and if it happens to be through a show, why not?"
Justin's latest project with Future Farm is all about cooking up the perfect plant-based burger. (Image: Supplied)
Justin's latest project working with Future Farm has been crafting the ultimate vegan burger for National Burger Day this Saturday.
The Vegan Smash Slider that's made up of two plant-based Future Burger patties, two slices of melted vegan cheese, pickles, lettuce, mayo, lemon and TRUFF hot sauce stuffed between a fluffy vegan brioche bun is also free for Sydneysiders when they head to Bondi SLSC on May 28th.
"I'm obviously not vegan but I just love food and eating plant based is good for the environment, sustainability and it's super tasty so it ticks all the boxes and Future Farm doing great things," Justin says.