MasterChef Australia Season 1: Where Are the Contestants Now?

In the inaugural season of Network Ten’s ‘MasterChef Australia,’ which premiered in April 2009, contestants embarked on a culinary journey under the guidance of host Sarah Wilson. As the season unfolded, participants showcased their cooking prowess, leaving a lasting impact on viewers. The influence of their ‘MasterChef’ experience remains evident in their ongoing endeavors, serving as a launchpad for their diverse professional paths and contributions to the culinary world.

Julie Goodwin is Gracing the Screens as a Dancer Today

Julie Goodwin, the inaugural winner of ‘MasterChef Australia’ season 1, has had a multifaceted journey since her victory, showcasing her culinary skills, making appearances, and navigating personal challenges. Beyond her initial win, she has been a recurring presence on subsequent ‘MasterChef’ seasons, participating in various capacities. In season 2, she served as a guest judge, showcasing her expertise to the new cohort of contestants. Her return in season 4 saw her donning the guest judge hat once again. The Special ‘All-Star’ season for Charity featured her alongside other notable contestants. In 2010, she expanded her horizons by releasing an album of traditional Christmas songs through Universal Music.

Julie made a remarkable comeback in season 14, competing for a chance to reclaim the title but she couldn’t. Undeterred, she continued contributing to subsequent seasons, appearing as a guest judge in season 15 and returning for the ‘Fan and Favorite’ season in 2023. Beyond the ‘MasterChef’ realm, she has built a culinary empire. She has authored six books, including titles like ‘Classic,’ ‘Our Family Table,’ ‘Heart of the Home,’ and ‘Gather.’ In 2024, she is set to release her new book, ‘Your Time Starts Now,’ providing insights into her life journey and experiences as Australia’s first ‘MasterChef.’

In 2014, Julie established Julie’s Place, a cooking school, further solidifying her presence in the culinary education landscape. She also ventured into radio, co-hosting a breakfast show, ‘Rabbit and Julie Goodwin.’ However, in a candid revelation, she disclosed leaving the show in 2020 to seek treatment in a mental health ward, citing struggles with anxiety and depression. In April 2018, she faced legal repercussions, charged with mid-range drunk driving, resulting in a six-month license suspension and a $600 fine. Despite her challenges, she has been open about her mental health struggles, dedicating a website to sharing her business and cooking stories.

Currently, Julie is set to embark on the 2025 Cunard Great Australian Culinary Voyage, showcasing her culinary prowess on a grand stage. Additionally, she has taken an unexpected career shift by starring in ‘Dancing with the Stars Australia.’ She resides on the Central Coast of New South Wales with her husband Michael and their three children, Tom, Joe, and Paddy.

Poh Ling Yeow is Now a Painter

Since Poh Ling Yeow’s time on the show, she appeared again on screens on the ‘Masterchef Australia Junior’ season 1. Her enduring connection with ‘MasterChef’ is evident through her involvement in numerous seasons. She competed in the Special ‘All-Star’ season, made a return in season 7, and continued her engagement in season 10. In season 11, she took on the role of a mentor. Her ‘MasterChef’ journey extended into season 12, where she once again embraced the competition. In season 13, she transitioned into the role of a guest judge, bringing her seasoned insights to the show. Poh made a guest appearance in season 15, reinforcing her status as an integral part of the ‘MasterChef’ legacy.

She has also ventured into various media roles. In 2015, she launched the series ‘Poh & Co.,’ offering viewers an intimate look into her culinary world. Her hosting endeavors continued with ‘Poh’s Kitchen.’ Notably, she has carved a niche as an author, publishing four books that delve into her eclectic cooking recipes. In 2021, she assumed the role of one of the hosts of the Australian version of ‘Snackmasters.’ In 2022, she entered the jungle as a contestant on season 8 of ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’ Later that year, she showcased her creative flair as a celebrity contestant on the ‘Lego Masters Australia Christmas special.’

In August 2023, Poh co-hosted ‘Adam & Poh’s Great Australian Bites.’ She has now found a new hobby, launching the website, Art by Poh, where she showcases and sells her artwork, including canvas paintings and sketches. On a personal note, her journey has included significant life changes. After her separation from her first husband, Matt Phipps, she found love again in 2014 and married Jono Bennett. However, their paths diverged, leading to their divorce in 2021. Currently, she finds joy and companionship in the company of her dog, Timmy, as she continues to explore new culinary and creative horizons.

Chris Badenoch is an Illustrator Today

After the show, Chris Badenoch encountered controversy when allegations surfaced that he used his mobile phone to gain an unfair advantage on the show. While he denied the claims, the incident stirred discussions about ethics on the show. Undeterred, he continued his culinary endeavors. In the special ‘Masterchef Australia All-Star’ season for Charity, he made a triumphant return, finishing as the Runner-Up. However, in season 12 in 2020, he didn’t get far. Beyond the kitchen, Badenoch established Josie Bones, a restaurant in Melbourne in 2010. He expanded his creative footprint by authoring the book ‘The Entire Beast.’ Notably, in 2016, he ventured to Europe before returning to Australia to establish his beer company, Boneyard Brewing.

Despite his culinary successes, he didn’t shy away from expressing his opinions, particularly critiquing judge Jock Zonfrillo’s feedback on the ‘MasterChef: Back To Win’ series. The culinary artist’s passions extend beyond the kitchen. Badenoch delved into designing, illustrating, and building projects, emerging as an artist with a deep-seated inspiration drawn from Surrealism, Pop Surrealism, and Baroque painters, with Caravaggio being a notable influence. In a personal triumph, Badenoch married fellow ‘MasterChef’ contestant Julia in 2013, showcasing resilience in the face of scrutiny due to their age gap. The couple, initially met with skepticism when they went public in 2009, proved critics wrong by tying the knot in Daylesford, Victoria. They remain happily married, settling in Perth with their dog Sebastian.

Justine Schofield Has Her Own TV Shows

Joining the special ‘ Masterchef Australia All-Star’ season for Charity, Justine Schofield made her appearance gain on the screens. Her culinary journey continued as she returned in season 7, this time as a guest judge. Beyond ‘MasterChef,’ her culinary influence extended to her own shows on Network Ten, including ‘Everyday Gourmet with Justine Schofield,’ ‘Tropical Gourmet: Queensland,’ ‘Tropical Gourmet: New Caledonia,’ and ‘Justine’s Flavours of Fuji.’ In 2019, she participated in season 5 of ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!.’ She has also made significant contributions to the literary world, authoring books like ‘The Slow Cook’ and ‘Simple Every Day.’

On a personal note, after an unsuccessful relationship with Matt Doran, Justine found love again with ex-AFL player Brent Staker in early 2020. The couple welcomed their first child, Louis Staker, in September 2022. She now resides in Clovelly, New South Wales. However, her journey has not been without sorrow, as in 2024, she revealed the passing of her best friend, Beth “Betty” Tundehope, from bowel cancer.

Julia Jenkins Now Co-Owns a Restaurant

Julia Jenkins has delved into the food industry by co-owning the restaurant Josie Bones with her husband, Chris Badenoch. In 2012, she pursued further education, completing a Graduate Certificate in Food Writing at the University of Adelaide. She has seamlessly transitioned into writing and even ventured into the beer and food industry as part-owner of Boneyard Brewing. Her marriage to Chris, though initially met with controversy due to their age gap, has stood the test of time. The couple released a book titled ‘Worm’ and shares their life with their dog, Sebastian.

Lucas Parsons is a Comic Collector Today

Lucas Parsons, renowned as a professional Australian golfer, shifted has shifted gears. He has taken on the role of a house dad to his children, Lucia and Oscar, after selling a café and bookstore. While contemplating a return to senior golf, a shoulder reconstruction in 2019 redirected his focus. In 2023, Lucas shared details about his new venture, Comic Collector, a business dealing with comics, anticipated to launch after compiling a substantial collection.

Andre Ursini is a Successful Business Owner

Andre Ursini, father of three, experienced a diverse career trajectory. After a year of working for a suburban Italian restaurant in Adelaide, he owned and operated Andre’s Cucina and Polenta Bar for a decade, closed in 2020. Undeterred, he opened Andre’s Cucina At Home and later ventured into Orso and Villetta Porcini in the Adelaide Hills. His family has also purchased a former youth camp, planning to transform it into Lunelli Agriturismo, a culinary resource inspired by the Italian farm stay model.

Sam Ciaravolo Works at a Winery

Sam Ciaravolo has carved a successful career in the corporate world. He progressed from a call center manager to the position of Direct Sales Manager at Tahbilk Winery in 2021. Sam boasts an array of certifications, including Agile DSDM – Project Management, ITIL Foundation Level, and COPC Registered Coordinator. He is happily married to Abbey Ciaravolo.

Tom Mosby is Now an Art Conservator

Tom Mosby, after the show, assumed roles such as Executive Manager at Indigenous Research & Projects, Interim Chair at Bangarra Dance Theatre, and CEO at Koorie Heritage Centre. Since 2022, he has served as a board director at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra. In 2022, Tom showcased his baking skills on ‘The Great Australia Bake Off,’ securing the 11th place.

Eugenia “Geni” Papacostas Has Developed a Passion For Travel

Eugenia “Geni” Papacostas immersed herself in corporate cooking classes after her stint on the show. In 2010, she attended Fine Food Queensland and contributed to the ‘101 Greek Islands’ book. She has developed a passion for travel, exploring the world for both professional and personal reasons which is evident from her vibrant social media filled with travel images.

Sandra Moreno is an Interior Designer Today

Image Credit: Oz Home News

Sandra Moreno directed her culinary skills towards fostering a healthy food culture at home for parents after her ‘MasterChef’ journey. Beyond the kitchen, she pursued a career shift, delving into interior design and eventually becoming a property developer. Sandra’s success extended to the real estate market, where she sold her Queensland mansion for a substantial profit, showcasing her business acumen. Despite her achievements, she opts to keep her private life away from the limelight.

Trevor Forster Launched a New Restaurant in 2019

Trevor Forster ventured into the culinary scene with the launch of his restaurant, Capricci’s, in 2019. Transitioning from the kitchen, he currently serves as a Technology Trainer at WesTrac Cat. He has found happiness in his personal life, living harmoniously with his wife Marianna and their three daughters.

Aaron Thomas is Now Managing Director and CEO at Pursuit Minerals Limited

Image Credit: Market Talk/YouTube

Aaron Thomas founded the mining company Oakmont in the United Kingdom in 2010. The company holds mining interests in Brazil. However, controversies arose as Thomas was sacked from his role as the chief executive of Oakmont in 2014. According to the reports of Smart Company, legal proceedings were initiated against him, alleging embezzlement, but were later discontinued. He pursued further education, completing an MBA at Bond University in 2018 and studying Alternative Investments at Harvard Business School. Presently, he holds the position of Managing Director and CEO at Pursuit Minerals Ltd.

Kate Rodrigues is a Senior Disputes and Investigations Lawyer

Kate Rodrigues graduated with a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Western Australia in 2012. Since 2023, she has been serving as a Senior Disputes and Investigations Lawyer, showcasing her legal expertise. She holds the position of Legal Counsel with Rolls Royce, contributing to the company’s legal affairs. In her personal life, Kate is in a happy relationship with her partner, Jonathon Lewis Lunn.

Joshua “Josh” Catalano Has Relocated to Bali

Joshua “Josh” Catalano again participated in season 5 of ‘Masterchef Australia.’ Following his chef journey, he explored various career paths. He co-founded the Fish Boss in 2016, expanding it to four sites and a private catering arm before taking control in 2019. The business faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading Josh to embark on a new career in insurance broking. In February 2024, he assumed the role of General Manager at The Secret Society and owns a restaurant, Grain Espresso Bali, in Bali, Indonesia, where he resides with his wife and three boys.

Michelle Darlington is Learning to Craft Gin

Michelle Darlington transitioned into various roles after her appearance on the show. In 2010, she served as the Assistant Manager at The Essential Ingredient. Later, she became the Director of Seed It Up and the owner and operator of Nourish Kitchen + Lifestyle, a foodie destination store in Berry till 2021. In 2024, Michelle embarked on a new venture, learning to craft her first batch of Olive Leaf gin.

Brent Parker-Jones Returned to His Old Job

Brent Parker-Jones, a skilled food photographer, returned to his passion post-‘MasterChef.’ His photography prowess contributed to various recipe books, and he celebrated Vegemite’s 100th birthday by photographing foods listed in ‘The Vegemite Cookbook (100 Years).’ With his own photography studio and website, he continues to make significant contributions to the culinary world.

Linda Monique is the Founder of Almond Milk Company

Linda Monique, earlier known as Linda Kowalski, resumed work as a pastry chef at Sideboard after ‘MasterChef.’ She diversified her career by venturing into interior design and then founding the long-life almond milk company Almo Milk. She also established CREA.M, a bespoke agency focusing on F&B innovation and sustainability projects. Since February 2023, Linda has held the position of Honorary Enterprise Fellow of the Faculty of Business & Economics at the University of Melbourne.

Pasquale “Nic” Ciampa Works at Tenpin Bowling Australia

Image Credit: Nic Ciampa/LinkedIn

Pasquale “Nic” Ciampa pursued further education, earning a certification in Retail Management from the Austrian Academy in 2014. Since 2023, he has been serving as the Commercial Partnership Manager at Tenpin Bowling Australia, showcasing his skills in the sports industry.

Melissa Lutton is a Photographer Today

Melissa Lutton transitioned from being a high school art teacher to an Online Facilitator at Martin College after ‘MasterChef.’ Eventually, she found her passion as a photographer specializing in food, travel, and portraits in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. She continues to explore the creative realms of photography, sharing her artistic expressions with the world.

Read More: MasterChef Season 3: Where Are The Contestants Now?