Only 25-years-old at the time, Weldon left his career as a film projectionist behind to pursue his food dream, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of his life.
He made it all the way to the end of the competition, and many of his dishes landed themselves a spot in the MasterChef Australia hall of fame. Some notable creations include Baked Apples and Pears with Berry Salad and Caramel Sauce, Salmon Tartare with Soft Boiled Quail Egg and Tapas of Lamb and Roasted Anchovy Lamb with Green Dressing.
Despite losing to Kate Bracks, Weldon went on to forge a brilliant career in the hospitality industry. From running catering companies to working as a head chef, he’s really done it all.
Weldon is also a proud ambassador for Coles, San Remo and Coopers.
“I think the fun times in my life are when I’m in the kitchen, cooking for myself or for others. It makes me really excited, it’s my happy place, I guess,” he told 10play.
He first started cooking at the age of 12, when he threw together a stir fry. But the decision to compete on MasterChef Australia was made after his housemate at the time — TV journalist Joel Dry — threatened to take away his beer.
“It was a Sunday night after one of Joel’s hockey games,” Michael said.
“We were at the Hackney Hotel and I ran out of money. So Joel said, `I’ll buy you more beers if you go home and enter MasterChef.’ So I ran home and filled out the application online with about 15 minutes to go and went back to the pub.”
That was 11 years ago, and the rest is history.
MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites premieres on Monday, April 18 on Channel 10 and 10play.