After Leaving the ‘MasterChef Australia’ Kitchen, Julie Goodwin Dealt With Personal Struggles

She’s best known for being crowned the winner of the very first season of MasterChef Australia 13 years ago, and now, Julie Goodwin has re-entered the same kitchen that made her a star.

But despite having her name already engraved on the coveted trophy, Goodwin felt the pressure on the first episode of MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites.

“These guys are really good cooks. I don’t know if this cauliflower soup is enough,” said Goodwin.

Doubting her skills and capabilities during the cook, judge Jock Zonfrillo gave her an inspiring talk to help boost her confidence.

“I need you to just let it wash through your brain. You’re not just an OG, you’re also a winner,” said Zonfrillo. “But what you are, more importantly, is a classic. Okay? And classics never get old. Classics are very hard to beat.”

Since winning MasterChef Australia, Goodwin has gone on to publish cookbooks, host a radio show and start a cooking school. However, in between these accomplishments, the chef has fought through personal struggles.

Who Is Julie Goodwin’s Family?

Goodwin speaks of her family fondly and often. Happily married to husband Michael, the couple share three sons: Joe, Tom and Paddy. 

Last year, their family of five welcomed a new addition — Tom’s baby daughter, Delilah. Now a year old, Goodwin is completely besotted with her grandchild.

“I don’t think you can spoil a little baby, if you’re talking about time and attention and singing songs and loving them and kissing them all over the face,” she told Woman’s Day.

Julie’s Mental Health Struggle

Goodwin’s return to the show comes after her arrest for drunk driving. Four years ago, the reality TV personality was found drunk driving twice over the legal limit, later revealing that she had been suffering from depression.

Opening up about her mental health battle, Goodwin admitted to spending five weeks in a mental health facility in 2020, and credits her husband and family for holding her hand through it all.

“I wasn’t in the best place,” she told The Australian Women’s Weekly. “If you did an analysis of coming back on just in terms of mental health you’d say, ‘Don’t be an idiot’.”

Her granddaughter is the reason she continuously pushed through and, thanks to her and those she loves most, Goodwin is now doing much better.

“I was stuck in a situation of my own creation and I couldn’t get out, I couldn’t see a way out,” she said. “It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be alive anymore, but I couldn’t figure out how to be alive.

“I just had voices that were despairing and dark and wrong, telling me the wrong things.”

Now, with the help of medication, regular exercise and meditation, Goodwin is doing well.

What About Julie’s Cooking School?

After becoming a household name, Goodwin opened up her own cooking school named Julie’s Place. The kitchen is a safe space for aspiring cooks, no matter their skill level.

From high tea to elaborate meals, Julie’s Place has a recipe for everyone. Located in Gosford, NSW, the school has been thriving since COVID lockdowns.

MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites airs at 7.30pm on Channel 10 and 10 Play On Demand.

Want more MasterChef Australia? Read here.

If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14, both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can also speak with someone confidentially at Headspace by calling 1800 650 890 or chat online here.

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