Things are heating up on MasterChef Australia: Fans and Favourites and, this year, the competition is hotter than ever.
This season, our hopeful home cooks have their work cut out for them. Not only are they competing against one another as they work to impress judges Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen, they’re also going up against 12 returning competitors, the Favourites. If that didn’t sound overwhelming enough, the Favourites include three past winners; Julie Goodwin, Sashi Cheliah and Billie McKay!
Despite the big names she’s up against, Montana Hughes is not to be underestimated.
This season’s youngest contestant, Hughes is ready to take on both the Fans and the Favourites, and cook her way to Finals Week.
In a Q&A with The Latch, Hughes said that she’s “quite passionate”, explaining: “I am very much the type of person where once I put my mind to something, I don’t give up until the job is done.”
In fact, Hughes had auditioned for MasterChef Australia back in 2019, and just missed out on making it to the top 24. Ambitious and determined, Hughes went back to the drawing board, honed her skills, and now believes she has what it takes to go all the way to the end.
Her love for food comes from warm memories of making pikelets with her grandmother, and scrambling eggs with her mum as a child. Cut to today, and Hughes is a TikTok food influencer with over 240,000 followers and a bright future in the world of cooking, but will she be able to win over the MasterChef Australia judges?
Asked which judge is her favourite, Hughes said it was “tricky”, because she loves “them all for different reasons”.
“I really love Jock’s emphasis on native ingredients woven into classical French techniques and a fine dining style,” Hughes explained, adding: “I was definitely very inspired to learn more about native ingredients from him.”
She continued: “I also love Andy’s more simple approach to food and how he uses such strong punchy flavours. I love this style of cooking and really elevating ingredients but giving them a bit of char and caramelisation.”
In the end, though, the judge that Hughes is most excited to meet is Melissa Leong.
“I just have a lot of respect for her and love her outlook on food, so I will definitely be pretty starstruck meeting her in person,” Hughes said.
Will Hughes be able to plate her way to the end? Only time will tell. Until then…
MasterChef Australia airs at 7.30pm Sunday-Thursdays, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.
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