Masterchef Australia Season 7: Where Are The Contestants Now?

Premiering in May 2015, on Network Ten, season 7 of ‘MasterChef Australia’ marked the beginning of a transformative culinary journey for its contestants. Since their time on the show, these talented individuals have navigated diverse paths within the culinary realm. The intense competition not only honed their skills but also catapulted them into the spotlight, enabling ventures into restaurant ownership, culinary media, cookbook authorship, and hosting cooking shows. Today, the impact of the show continues to resonate in their lives, fueling a lasting passion for food that extends well beyond the show’s confines.

Billie McKay Made History on the Show

Billie McKay, the triumphant winner of ‘MasterChef Australia’ season 7, has continued to make waves in the culinary world with her remarkable journey. After clinching the title, her culinary prowess earned her a return in season 8, solidifying her presence in the ‘MasterChef’ franchise. However, her journey didn’t stop there. In season 11, she took on a new role as one of the three mentors for the Immunity Challenges, showcasing not only her cooking skills but also her ability to guide and inspire aspiring chefs. Her impact on the show reached new heights in season 14 when she made a historic comeback to compete once again.

To the awe of fans and contestants alike, Billie emerged victorious for the second time in 2022, etching her name in ‘MasterChef’ history as the first contestant ever to achieve such a remarkable feat. Her plans hint at a desire to give back to her roots. Expressing her aspiration, she mentioned that she would love to have a little eating place of her own one day. While the details of this venture are yet to be revealed, the prospect of her bringing her culinary expertise to a small regional town is exciting.

In addition to the glory of winning for the second time, Billie’s season 14 prizes included a substantial cash reward of $250,000, an Alfa Romeo Giulietta, and a monthly column in Delicious, an Australian food magazine. These rewards not only recognize her outstanding skills but also provide a platform for her to share her culinary insights with a broader audience. Post-victory, her culinary journey took an unexpected turn when guest judge Heston Blumenthal extended an enticing offer. Heston invited her to join the team at his renowned restaurant, The Fat Duck—a proposition she enthusiastically accepted. This move marks a significant milestone in her career, aligning her with one of the culinary world’s most celebrated figures.

Beyond the kitchen, Billie has embraced collaborations with other renowned chefs, showcasing her versatility and commitment to elevating the culinary experience. Her involvement in hosting events further highlights her ability to engage and connect with food enthusiasts. On a personal note, she is happily married to Haydn Suridge. While her professional life continues to soar, she maintains a balance with her commitments. However, it’s worth noting that she has taken a hiatus from social media since July 2022. The reasons behind her social media absence are unclear, sparking curiosity among fans about potential new ventures or projects she might be working on behind the scenes. Whatever lies ahead for this talented chef, the culinary community wishes her all the best in her future endeavors.

Georgia Barnes is a Food and Nutrition Consultant Today

Georgia Barnes, a multifaceted talent in the culinary world, has seamlessly woven her expertise as a Home Cook, Nutritionist, Food Stylist, and Food Educator. Her journey unfolds with a rich tapestry of experiences, showcasing her dedication to the culinary arts and nutritional well-being. Since late 2015, she has been an integral contributor to, a prominent platform where she shares her culinary creations through recipes for both the magazine and website. Her culinary education and journey into food styling led her to become a Food Educator at TalentINK, a role that allows her to impart her knowledge and passion for food to others. Her commitment to education extended beyond online platforms.

Georgia ran monthly workshops at The Kitchens at Robina on the Gold Coast, offering hands-on experiences to food enthusiasts. Additionally, she regularly hosted interactive cooking classes and demonstrations until 2020, showcasing her ability to connect with audiences through the joy of cooking. Her professional journey includes a stint at Endeavour College of Natural Health, where she had the privilege of learning from some of Australia’s leading stylists. The experience further honed her skills in food styling and contributed to her well-rounded culinary expertise. A testament to her influence, she has collaborated with leading brands and organizations, including notable names such as IKEA, Cadbury, and Coles.

Such partnerships speak volumes about the respect and recognition she commands in the culinary industry. With a dedicated website, Georgia keeps her fans updated with not only her latest recipes but also insights into her life and new ventures. This online presence reflects her commitment to connecting with her audience and sharing her culinary journey in a more personal way. her impact extends beyond the digital realm. She has traversed the country, presenting onstage at some of Australia’s most reputable foodie events. Television viewers may recognize her from appearances on ‘The Morning Show,’ ‘Studio 10,’ ‘Ben’s Menu,’ ‘Toasted TV,’ or as a guest co-host on Couch Time.

Georgia’s engaging presence on screen underscores her ability to make the culinary world accessible and enjoyable for a broad audience. Recipe and menu development have become integral facets of Georgia’s career. Her expertise in this realm has been recognized through ambassadorial roles, such as her stint as an ambassador for Australia Day Queensland and Pyrex Australia. These affiliations highlight her standing as a respected figure within the Australian culinary landscape. For two and a half years, she served as the Head of Food and Nutrition at Eden Health Retreat, a role that allowed her to delve further into the intersection of food and wellness. Her expertise in nutrition complemented her culinary skills, contributing to a holistic approach to health and well-being.

Since May 2022, she has taken on the role of Food & Nutrition Consultant at Childcare Centres of Excellence, showcasing her commitment to promoting healthy eating habits from an early age. The shift into this role aligns with her broader mission to foster a positive food culture and nutritional awareness. On a personal note, Georgia embraced motherhood in 2023, welcoming her baby girl Cleo with her partner. Balancing her professional pursuits with the joys of family life, she continues to inspire and contribute to the culinary world, leaving an indelible mark on both the digital and physical realms of the industry. As fans eagerly await her future endeavors, she remains a prominent figure, seamlessly blending her love for food, nutrition, and education.

Jessica Arnott is Now a Drinks consultant and Copywriter

Jessica Arnott, a standout contestant from ‘MasterChef,’ has carved a unique path in the culinary world, blending her love for cooking with entrepreneurial ventures and diverse roles in the food and beverage industry. Post-‘MasterChef,’ she dedicated herself to honing her culinary skills, working at The Flour Factory and making appearances at various food festivals, including Truffle Kerfuffle, Taste of Perth, and Gourmet Escape. Her journey showcases a multifaceted career that encompasses cooking, brand ambassadorship, and social media management. One of the noteworthy ventures in her life is the launch of her range of flavor-packed mustards, pickles, and sauerkraut.

This entrepreneurial leap demonstrates her commitment to exploring diverse aspects of the culinary world beyond traditional kitchen roles. The flavor-packed condiments likely bear the unique stamp of Jessica’s culinary creativity, catering to enthusiasts eager to elevate their culinary experiences. In 2017-18, she assumed the role of Brand Ambassador for Diageo Australia and Sweet & Chilli. This opportunity allowed her to delve into the world of beverage branding and promotion, showcasing her versatility within the food and beverage industry. Her association with Diageo Australia offered her a platform to engage with a broader audience, sharing her passion for spirits and beverages.

Jessica’s professional journey also includes a three-year tenure at Tiny’s Liquor Emporium, where her expertise in the world of libations likely flourished. The experience gained at Tiny’s likely contributed to her deep understanding of the beverage industry, setting the stage for her later roles. A significant career transition occurred in December 2019 when she assumed the position of Social Media Manager for Foxtrot Unicorn. This role underscores her adaptability, showcasing her ability to leverage her culinary background in the digital realm.  Further expanding her digital footprint, Jessica took on the role of Social Media Manager for Nieuw Ruin in 2021. Her involvement with multiple establishments highlights her prowess in utilizing digital platforms to enhance brand visibility and engage with a diverse audience.

Not content with her already varied portfolio, she also collaborates with Studio Appetite as a Drinks Consultant and Copywriter. This role positions her as an expert in the beverage domain, contributing her insights to creative projects and promotional material. Her expertise likely extends to crafting compelling narratives that resonate with both seasoned enthusiasts and those new to the world of beverages. Jessica’s discerning palate was put to the test when she participated as a judge in the inaugural Good Food Guide Spirit Awards, tasting over 60 bottles of booze from across Western Australia. This experience reflects her refined taste and her standing within the industry as a trusted authority on beverages.

Beyond her professional achievements, her personal life took a beautiful turn as she happily married Richard and welcomed a daughter, Scarlette Ramona, in 2020. Balancing family life with a dynamic career in the culinary world, she exemplifies the ability to thrive both professionally and personally. In her spare time, Jessica continues to share her culinary expertise through collaborations with brands and fellow chefs for cooking demos.

Reynold Poernomo is an Entrepreneur Today

Reynold Poernomo not only reappeared in subsequent seasons but also extended his influence internationally. After participating in season 12 and reaching the third position, he showcased his culinary prowess as a guest judge on ‘MasterChef Indonesia’ season 5 and competed in the ‘Dessert Masters’ spin-off series, finishing as the runner-up. In 2016, Reynold, along with his mother and brothers, founded KOI Dessert Bar, which later expanded to KOI Dessert and Kitchen and another restaurant, Monkey’s Corner.

His journey goes beyond the kitchen, as he has collaborated with major brands since 2016, delivered TEDx talks, and earned accolades, such as being a finalist for Best Pastry Chef by Gault & Millau and Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 in 2017. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to launch KOI Experiential in 2022, a 12-seater chef’s table dining experience. Despite his success, in November 2023, he expressed his decision to move to a country where he feels more appreciated, ruling out a return to ‘MasterChef Australia.’

Sara Oteri is an Executive Creative Director Today

Sara Oteri, another season 7 alum, took a different route. After the show, she embraced her role as a freelance Creative Director and collaborated with prominent brands like IKEA, PayPal, and the Chablis wine region. Her culinary passion coexisted with her professional career, leading her to the role of Executive Creative Director at Akkomplice for six years. In 2024, Sara took on a new challenge as the Executive Creative Director at 303 MullenLowe. She got married to Damian in 2016, and in 2022, they welcomed their baby, Florian.

Matthew Hopcraft is also a Podcaster Today

Matthew Hopcraft, a contestant with a dental background, released a cookbook in 2017 titled ‘Food to Feed the Family.’ He was actively involved in the Australian Dental Association, serving as President, but later resigned as CEO in 2023. He co-founded Sugar-free Smiles, advocating for the health impacts of high-sugar diets. He now hosts a podcast, ‘Dental As Anything.’ H has also taken on a new role as Associate Professor in Professional Practice at the Melbourne Dental School since 2023.

Jessie Spiby is the Owner of My Grandma Ben

Jessie Spiby pursued a career in food, establishing her cafe, My Grandma Ben, and a catering business, Good Company Catering. An advocate for OzHarvest, she became the Sustainability Manager for TEDx Adelaide in 2016 and the Food Ambassador for Cellar Door Fest 2018. Professionally, she owned Spiby Creative and Botanic Gardens Restaurant before founding Jessie Does Food and Jessie Eats. In 2019, she married her love and welcomed their first child, Frankie Lola Spiby Payne, in 2021.

Ashleigh Bareham Worked at a Bakery

Ashleigh Bareham found her niche in the baking world, working with Miss Ladybird Cakes. During the COVID times, she went back to live with her family in Sunshine Coast but in 2020, she returned to her bakery roots. She showcases her dedication to baking through social media.

Amy Luttrell Works at a Primary School Today

Amy Luttrell has shifted her focus to family life while keeping her passion for cooking alive. In 2017, she launched the cookbook ‘My Tasmanian Menu.’ She works at Sacred Heart Primary School today. Amy is married to Simon, and their family expanded with three adorable children — Rory Kent, born in 2016; Reuben, born in 2018; and Hudson Hendrik Woodfield, born in 2021.

Rose Adam Owns a Breakfast and Brunch Restaurant

Rose Adam, who reappeared on ‘MasterChef Australia: Back to Win’ in 2020, now owns The Middle Store, a Breakfast & Brunch Restaurant. Involved with Tasting Australia, she collaborates with other chefs, conducts cooking demos, and shares recipes on social media. Despite personal challenges, including the loss of her brother, George Adam, in 2020, Rose remains a prominent figure in the culinary scene. She has plans to publish her first cookbook, too. Moreover, she was a regular on ‘Studio 10’ cooking show until 2023.

Stephen Rooney Now Works With Quantium

Stephen Rooney has embarked on a compelling career trajectory with Quantium. Currently, he is serving as the Executive Manager of talent acquisition at Global Markets (EMEA, India, and North America). His dedication and prowess were acknowledged when he was crowned Employee of the Year in 2022. He also embraced the Strong Dad Movement by Fit Plus Well, shedding a substantial amount of weight and embracing a fitness-oriented lifestyle. Personal bliss accompanies his professional success, as he is happily married to Georgina Metcalfe and is the proud father of two boys.

John Carasig Has a Chocolate Business

John Carasig took his culinary passion to new heights after the show. Founding Adobo Kitchen, a hub for culinary exploration, he has curated recipes inspired by global flavors. Adobo Kitchen has evolved into a producer of exquisite, handcrafted chocolates, poised for a relaunch under the name Tsokolate. Beyond the culinary realm, his career extends into the travel industry as a flight attendant. Notably, he showcases his creativity in fashion, crafting outfits for his spouse, Gigi Era, a renowned drag queen from ‘Drag Race Philippines.’

Jamie Ward is Now Father to Two Beautiful Girls

Since Jamie Ward’s time on the show, he has found his niche in culinary demonstrations and collaboration with various events like Dandenong Market. In 2016, he launched Ollies Flavoured Olives, his food range. He, embracing the marital bliss, tied the knot with Amy O’Brien in 2018. Their family has since grown, with two daughters, John and Elodie, and a charming young stallion named Alfred.

Jacqui Ackland Lives With Her Three Daughters

Jacqui Ackland, another talented contestant, aspired to transform her love for cooking into a business venture. Dreaming of providing personal training for dinner parties, she aimed to empower individuals to create extraordinary dishes for special occasions. While she openly shares personal milestones, such as her daughter’s birthday and vaccination, Jacqui keeps her professional endeavors relatively private.

Anna Webster is Now an Editor

Anna Webster transitioned seamlessly from the ‘MasterChef’ platform to a prolific career as a food and wine journalist and copywriter, notably contributing to Good Food. Her journey continued with roles at Broadsheet Media and REVEL Globalis, culminating in her promotion to Editor at Halliday Wine Companion in February 2022. On the personal front, Anna is happily married to Tosh Greenslade and is a proud mother to Teddy and August, born in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Ava Stangherlin is a Head Chef Today

Ava Stangherlin, also known as Ava Clare, embraced a dynamic culinary trajectory. Swiftly securing a position at Sydney’s Hotel Centennial, she later transitioned to Marrickville’s Cornersmith, where she climbed the ranks from chef to Head Chef. She has now assumed the role of Head of the Aplenty kitchen, a testament to her culinary expertise and leadership skills.

Kristina Short Keeps Her Life Under The Wraps

After Kristina Short departed from the show, she took on the role of an apprentice chef at the Westend Pumphouse in Hobart. Intriguingly, her post-‘MasterChef’ journey took an unexpected turn when she expressed her intention to pursue her love for beer in 2015. Subsequently, she retreated from the limelight, choosing to keep her privacy intact.

Melita Berzins is a Nutritionist Today

Melita Berzins, formerly known as Melita Tough, embarked on a different path after her ‘MasterChef’ journey. The culinary world took a backseat as she ventured into theatre and performance arts at various venues and events. Her academic pursuits led her to complete a degree in Nutritional Medicine from the Australian Institute of Applied Sciences in 2016. Since March 2021, Berzins has transitioned into the role of a nutritionist, embracing a career that combined her passion for food and health.

Fiona Grindlay is an Actor and Model

Fiona Grindlay’s life saw her move from Queensland to Perth with her husband, Marek Kuzian, after the show. Beyond the kitchen, she delved into the world of literature by launching a children’s book titled ‘Tommy and the Magic Paintbrush’ in 2015. The multifaceted talent evolved into an actor and model, now represented by the Colours agency. Her professional journey included a stint as the Chief Marketing Officer at LLFM Ltd. until 2023, where she showcased her skills in various companies like TALA, Activistic, and SO-SURE. In 2019, Grindlay embraced motherhood, welcoming twin babies into the family. Her social media presence often features glimpses of the joyous family moments.

Jarrod Trigg Bought a New House

Jarrod Trigg, another contestant from season 7, demonstrated his leadership and management skills during his time on the show. In 2017, he took on the role of Civil Construction Manager at TGM Group, showcasing his expertise in the field. Later, he joined SMEC and rapidly climbed the corporate ladder, eventually becoming the Manager of Civil Construction – Urban Development in 2018. His career trajectory continued to ascend, and by December 2021, Trigg assumed the position of Senior Project Manager – Project Advisory at the Office of Projects Victoria. Adding a personal milestone, 2022 marked the year when he purchased a new house for himself and his partner.

Andrea Farinha Works With Harvey Norman Today

Andrea Farinha’s journey post-‘MasterChef’ was marked by her continued dedication to Harvey Norman. Progressing through the ranks, she earned the position of Floor Manager in 2017. Her commitment and hard work eventually led her to become the Store Manager at Harvey Norman Ireland until February 2024. Currently, she serves as the Proprietor in Dublin, Ireland. Tragically, she shared the loss of her Nonna, who played a significant role in her culinary journey, passing away in 2019.

Kha Nguyen is Now a Sandwich Artist

Kha Nguyen swiftly landed his dream job as a chef at the vibrant Chapel Street restaurant, Tokyo Tina, after the show. Subsequently, he embraced the role of a sandwich artist at his venture Sammy’s, located in various locations surrounding Monash. Adding to his culinary endeavors, he also became the proud owner of Tiger Mum Canteen. Beyond his professional achievements, Kha has found happiness in his personal life, having tied the knot with Loan Luong-Nguyen.

James Bell is the Senior Associate at Plurimi

James Bell, another contestant from the same season, transitioned into the financial sector. Currently, he is holding the position of Senior Associate at Plurimi. He previously served as an Investment Advisor at Lugarno Partners until May 2020. From 2016 to 2020, he held the role of General Manager at Edward Reports. Alongside his career success, James also found love, frequently sharing moments with his significant other on social media.

Marcus Cher is a Laboratory Manager Today

Marcus Cher, after the show, embarked on a diverse journey. Initially working as an Assistant Potter at Claystone Pottery for two years, he shifted gears in 2018 when he assumed the role of Creative Director at the Orlando Marzo Diago Cocktail Championship. Later, in 2018, he joined RMIT University as a Lecturer in Design until 2019. His professional trajectory included stints at Curvecrete, Monash Food Innovation, and the Global Centre for Modern Aging. Presently, Marcus serves as the Laboratory Manager at Monash University. In 2020, he disclosed his pursuit of a Ph.D. in food and interactive design, showcasing his commitment to continuous learning and innovation.

Mario Montecuollo Co-Owns a Japanese Bar

Mario Montecuollo, unfortunately, faced disqualification from ‘MasterChef Australia’ season 7 due to previous professional experience in the culinary field. Despite the setback, Mario clarified that he had not intended to mislead anyone, explaining his role as a sommelier at the restaurant seven or eight years prior. Post-show, he co-founded the yakitori and sake Bar, Tori Bar, sharing ownership responsibilities. His professional journey also included serving as the Head Sommelier at Icebergs Group until 2022. In his personal life, he has found companionship with Annuccia.

Read More: Do MasterChef Contestants Get Paid? What is the Prize Money?