MasterChef Australia: Secrets and Surprises has crowned Brent Draper as the 2023 winner. Tonight, we watched on as our two finalists — Brent and Rhiannon Anderson — faced off in the kitchen one last time for the $250,000 prize and the coveted MasterChef trophy. Both contestants put all the skills to the test in the epic battle for the win, but it was Brent who came out the victor.
It’s been an emotional ride through MasterChef Australia: Secrets and Surprises, after the sudden death of judge Jock Zonfrillo was announced just hours before the 2023 season was set to premiere. The finale marked Zonfrillo’s final appearance on MasterChef Australia.
After Brent’s win was announced, MasterChef Australia aired a heartfelt, emotional tribute to Jock’s time on the series. The tribute features clips of Jock offering his trademark enthusiasm for good food, heartfelt advice to the cooks over the years, and moments of joy and goofing off in the kitchen.
“Give it up for Jock Zonfrillo,” said a caption on the screen over a photo of Jock with the cast and crew of MasterChef Australia.
The MasterChef Australia 2023 Finale
In tonight’s Grand Finale, it was time for Brent and Rhiannon to use everything they’ve learned on the show for an epic two-round battle. In round one, our judges — Jock, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen — presented the pair with a challenge.
There was Andy’s mystery box challenge, Melissa’s secret challenge, or Jock’s secret ingredient challenge. Each finalist had the power to veto the challenge they didn’t want to do. Brent removed Jock’s secret ingredient challenge, while Rhiannon removed Andy’s mystery box challenge. This left the duo to face off with Melissa’s secret challenge. Melissa revealed the challenge, which was “A Dish That Tells a Story”.
“A delicious dish is one thing,” Melissa said, “but a meaningful dish is even better”.
The challenge was worth 30 points. In the end, Rhiannon scored 25, while Brent scored 29.
View this post on Instagram
The Final Pressure Test
Then, Amaury Guichon joined the kitchen for the final pressure test of the season. In this 40-point challenge, Brent and Rhiannon had to recreate Guichon’s intricately detailed pocket watch — a multi-layered chocolate delight complete with a sugar dome that cracked like glass. Guichon is set to judge MasterChef: Dessert Masters alongside Melissa Leong in the coming months.
When it came time for Brent to present his final dish to the judges, he became immediately emotional.
Recalling his time on the series in 2021, Brent said: “Look, it was the hardest time in my life, the first season.
“But I always think I had to go through that journey, and it tastes so much sweeter now that I’ve done that.”
Tasting Brent’s dish, Amaury praised the flavour, textures and assembly of the pocket watch dish. Although there was room for refinement in his sugar dome, Amaury said that for a first attempt, it was very good.
“I think Brent did a very good job,” he summarised.
“I honestly couldn’t be prouder,” Jock echoed.
With a total of 63 points, Brent claimed the win.
Overcome with emotion, Brent credited his journey from 2021 to now.
“From the first season to now, MasterChef is such a big part of my life right now,” he said. “It’s made me learn new things about my life. I’m just so, so, so proud.”
As for Rhiannon, she was “stoked” with her second placement in the competition — and the $40k prize they offered her, as well.
“I’m stoked, I feel like I’ve conquered my dreams!” she said, of getting to compete in the finale.
Finally, they gave third-place contestant Declan, who was eliminated on Thursday night, $10,000 to take home.
Brent’s Journey to the Win
Brent first appeared on MasterChef Australia on Season 13 in 2021. At the time, Brent was struggling with his mental health, and made the difficult decision to step away from the competition in order to look after himself.
As part of his healing journey, Brent embarked on an adventure of a lifetime with his wife and young son, travelling around Australia in a renovated bus. Coming back into the competition this year, Brent was equipped with a toolkit of exercise, meditation, and mantras.
As a National Coles Ambassador, Brent has spent the past two years developing recipes and content for the retailer.
Aside from winning the competition, Brent’s main goal on MasterChef Australia this year was to inspire others to tackle their problems head-on. Passionate about sharing his mental health journey, particularly with men, Brent wanted to show that it is possible to come out stronger on the other side.
MasterChef Australia: Secrets and Surprises is streaming now on 10 Play.
Want more MasterChef Australia? Read all our content here, and check out the stories below:
- Get Ready to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with ‘MasterChef: Dessert Masters’
- Introducing the ‘MasterChef Australia: Secrets and Surprises’ Top 18
- The Secrets and Surprises Are About to Begin on ‘MasterChef Australia’ 2023
- ‘MasterChef Australia’ 2023: Adi Is a Doctor Who Combines Science and Cooking
- Andrea Is Ready to Push His Skills to the Limit on ‘MasterChef’ 2023
- Antonio Is a Software Developer Who’s Ready to Win ‘MasterChef’ 2023
- Brent Is Back for ‘MasterChef’ 2023, and He Wants to Inspire Others
- Cath Is Ready to Make Her Culinary Dreams Come True on ‘MasterChef’
- Jessica Is an Optometrist Who Sees Herself Winning ‘MasterChef’ 2023
- Declan Is a Carpenter Who’s Ready to Get His Hands Dirty on ‘MasterChef’
- Grace Refuses to Let Endometriosis Get In Her Way on ‘MasterChef’
- Larissa Is Ready to Take on the ‘MasterChef’ Kitchen
- Phil Is Ready to Bring His A-Game to ‘MasterChef Australia’
- Ralph Is Bringing His Passion for Food and Family to ‘MasterChef’
- Rhiannon Is Ready to Follow Her Dreams on ‘MasterChef’
- Robbie Is Bringing Aboriginal Asian Fusion to ‘MasterChef’
- Rue Has Her Eyes on the Prize on ‘MasterChef’ 2023
- Theo Is an Electrician Who Plans to Show His Spark on ‘MasterChef’
- “Deeply Shocked and Saddened” — ‘MasterChef’ Judge Jock Zonfrillo Has Died Aged 46
- The Beautiful Story Behind Jock Zonfrillo’s Worry Beads
- Melissa Leong Reveals How Much Food the ‘MasterChef’ Judges Actually Eat