Declan Is a Carpenter Who’s Ready to Get His Hands Dirty on ‘MasterChef Australia’ 2023

MasterChef Australia Secrets and Surprises 2023 cast Declan

Since publishing this story, Network Ten has announced the death of MasterChef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo on April 30, 2023. MasterChef Australia Secrets and Surprises will now premiere on Sunday, May 7, with the full support of Zonfrillo’s family.

The return of Australia’s most wholesome reality television competition, MasterChef Australia: Secrets and Surprises, is upon us. We’re ready for a whole new season of delicious dishes and delectable desserts, but first, we need to put faces to the names of the MasterChef Australia 2023 cast.

Meet Declan Cleary, a 24-year-old carpenter from NSW whose passion for cooking will leave you craving for more.

Declan’s Love for Cooking

Declan’s love for food began with the idea that no meal should ever be dull. He is a self-proclaimed eccentric cook, and is inspired by various cuisines from his travels around the world.

Declan has spent time in Malaysia, Thailand, Mexico, and Papua New Guinea, where he walked the Kokoda Track, and you can expect to see influences from these travels make it into his dishes.

When it comes to cuisine, fish and seafood are Declan’s specialty. He grew up going beach or lake fishing with his grandfather and developed a love for seafood from an early age.

While he’s confident in the savoury space, finessed desserts may pose a challenge. But with trouble-shooting as part of his day-to-day routine on the building site, he won’t let the pressure of the MasterChef kitchen get to him.


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Declan’s Road to MasterChef Australia 2023

Despite being one of the youngest contestants in the competition, Declan’s skills aren’t to be underestimated. As a qualified carpenter with his own business, he knows what hard work is all about and isn’t afraid to put his head down and get his hands dirty.

Growing up watching his mum and Nan cook, Declan worked in hospitality as a teen, learning from chefs on the job. He’s not daunted by cooking for large numbers, and is often behind the stove for family celebrations.

Nowadays, he draws inspiration from eating out in Sydney, and looks up to cooking greats like Josh Niland, Nigella Lawson, and the late Anthony Bourdain.

He also shares a definite affinity with judge Andy Allen, whose path through competition Declan would love to emulate.

Approaching everything in life with joy, down-to-earth Declan wants to prove that his love of food could be more than just a hobby. He aims to push himself and expand his skillset through the competition and inspire other young tradies to get into the kitchen. With his carpentry business on hold for the competition, Declan’s dream is to open his seafood restaurant, and who knows, maybe even build it himself!

MasterChef Australia: Secrets and Surprises premieres Sunday, May 7 at 7.30pm, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.

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