EXCLUSIVE: How Julie Goodwin struck up a "motherly" bond with MasterChef: Foodies vs Favourites' Montana Hughes

''Julie has definitely been a massive support to me.''

By Faye Couros
At 24-years-old, Montana Hughes is the youngest competitor appearing on MasterChef's Fans and Favourites.
The food influencer has amassed a 38.7k following on Instagram and a further 230k fans on TikTok by posting mouth-watering videos of her quick, easy, and delicious recipes.
The passionate cook almost made it onto MasterChef in 2019, but she missed out on a spot in the top 24. Now she's finally in and is ready to do everything she can to achieve her dreams of winning the show.
"I had this dream literally since I was like 13. I think [MasterChef] is a great thing that really made me obsessed with food and something that really sparked that initial interest in food for me. It was something I wasn't not going to do," she tells TV WEEK.
Montana has been watching the show since she was 12. (Image: Ten)
With such a large following, it's understandable that the Queenslander is feeling a little nervous about proving herself.
"I definitely feel that sort of pressure to prove that I'm… I guess more than just sort like quicky stuff," she says. "It's such a sort of switch in mentality."
As a fan of the show for about half her life, Montana grew up idolising the contestants who came before her.
So, it was a stroke of luck when she found herself on the set of Foodies vs Favourites with one of her "idols," former winner Billie McKay.
"I love Billie! When I found out that she was coming back, I was like, 'oh god, how am I going to compete with her,' she recounts. "She was a massive inspiration to me and her season.
"So, the fact I'm cooking in the kitchen with her, and I guess against her, is pretty cool."
When Montana was 12 years old, Julie Goodwin won the first ever series of the show.
Julie was more than happy to take Montana under her wings. (Image: Ten)
It's safe to assume it felt surreal finding herself in the kitchen with Julie, who has also returned to the series.
The Aussie icon was more than happy to take the novice cook under her wings, especially during Montana's most challenging moments.
"Julie has definitely been a massive support to me. There were a few cooks where I sort of lost a bit of confidence, and she was really there to get me back in the right headspace and just realise I'm here for a reason," she says.
"Julie has definitely been a massive support to me." (Image: Instagram)
"[She] was definitely the most supportive and motherly sort of figures."
MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites premiere on Monday, 18 April at 7.30pm on 10 and 10Play on demand.

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