Shannon Bennett Returns As Guest Judge on ‘MasterChef Australia’ 2023

masterchef australia shannon bennett

MasterChef Australia: Secrets and Surprises is here, and our hopeful home cooks are putting their skills to the test with each new challenge. Tonight marks the return of MasterChef Australia guest judge Shannon Bennett, who’s appeared on the show over a dozen times before, and even appeared earlier this season.

Tonight, Bennett will mentor the Top 8 contestants. The challenge? To create and serve a two course meal — dinner and dessert — to 30 diners. The challenge will take place at the Temple of Boom, a modern reimagining of  the ancient Greek Acropolis held at the National Gallery of Victoria. The Top 8 will be split into two groups of four, and the dishes must, of course, be inspired by Greek cuisine.

The winning team will go on to battle it out for an immunity pin tomorrow night.

If you’re unfamiliar with Bennett and his work, though, never fear. We’re here to tell you all about the celebrity chef’s career up to now.

masterchef australia shannon bennett
Network Ten

Who Is Shannon Bennett?

Shannon Bennett is an Australian chef, restaurateur, and author of eight books. He’s best known for being the head chef and owner of the restaurant Vue de Monde.

Bennett opened Vue de Monde in 2000, and it quickly became one of Melbourne’s most renowned fine-dining establishments. The restaurant has received numerous awards and accolades for its innovative and artistic approach to cuisine.

He developed a passion for cooking at a young age and pursued culinary training in France and the United Kingdom. At 19, Bennett worked at renowned Michelin-starred restaurants, including L’Ortolan and Marco Pierre White‘s three-star establishment.

In 2015, Bennett started his own hospitality empire, operating under the name Vue Group. It encapsulated many of Melbourne’s pioneering venues, including The Lui Bar, Bistro Vue, Benny Burger, Jardin Tan, Piggery Cafe, Burnham Bakery, and Cafe Vue brands. The group was sold in 2017, and Bennett moved to Byron Bay, where he still resides full-time.

masterchef australia shannon bennett
Photo: Masterchef Australia

Does Shannon Bennett Still Own a Restaurant?

While Bennett started and owned Vue Group, most of the restaurants under the Vue umbrella are now in possession of the Far East Group, which acquired Vue Group in 2017.

Today, Bennett dabbles in hospitality projects, property development, and other hospitality ventures, as well as making regular media appearances on shows like MasterChef Australia.

Vue de Monde Controversy

In 2020, Bennett’s Vue de Monde restaurant was accused of forcing staff to work up to 30 hours of unpaid overtime each week. These accusations aren’t exactly new to the hospitality industry. Even Neil Perry was accused of time-sheet tampering, which was revealed to be worth up to $10 million in unpaid overtime.

The last we heard of this controversy, Bennett denied the claims. The Fair Work Ombudsman launched an investigation into the matter.

MasterChef Australia: Secrets and Surprises airs at 7.30pm, Sunday — Thursdays, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand. Miss an episode? Catch up on 10 Play.

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