Masterchef Australia Season 8: Where Are The Contestants Now?

The contestants from season 8 of ‘MasterChef Australia,’ have pursued diverse paths in the culinary world. Some have continued to refine their skills in professional kitchens, while others have ventured into food-related businesses. Their journeys started in May 2016 on Network Ten and have continued since then, even after the conclusion of the season. Several participants have also expanded their presence through social media, sharing their culinary creations and engaging with a broader audience.

Elena Duggan is a Celebrated Chef Today

Elena Duggan, the triumphant winner of ‘MasterChef Australia’ season 8, has continued to make waves in the culinary world and beyond. Her culinary prowess earned her a return as a guest chef in season 11. Since 2022, she has been associated with Straight To The Source, where she passionately advocates for sustainability, waste reduction, homegrown food, and support for local producers, emphasizing the importance of eating seasonally. In 2019, she took on the role of host for ‘My Market Kitchen,’ showcasing her skills and knowledge. In 2017, she embarked on a career as a High School Teacher – Special Programs at Naremburn School.

Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to launch her own website in 2016, dedicated to her culinary ventures. In 2017, Elena became a Workshop Facilitator, Chef Mentor, and Patron at Kitchen Challenge. Since April 2023, she has added a new chapter to her journey, joining Cultivating Community Melbourne as a Social Media Assistant and Creative. Beyond her professional roles, she hosts the ‘Appetite For Change’ podcast, showcasing her commitment to positive culinary transformations. Engaging in charitable activities, she remains active in giving back to the community. On a personal note, Elena married Eric Dedovic in 2018, and they are proud parents of two children, Jonathan and Fraser.

Matt Sinclair is Now Building a Family Farm

Matt Sinclair, the runner-up of season 8, has made significant strides in the culinary world post-competition. Returning for season 9, he not only participated but also served as a guest chef, marking the beginning of a series of subsequent appearances. In season 10, he contributed as a guest chef for an Immunity challenge, while in season 11, he assumed the role of a mentor. His journey continued with a guest appearance in season 15 as a team captain. Beyond the ‘MasterChef’ stage, Sinclair realized his dream of owning a successful food truck business, initially setting up at the Eat Street market in Brisbane.

Currently, he boasts a thriving restaurant, Sum Yung Guys, situated in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. Garnering numerous accolades, including One Chefs Hat from Good Food Awards and The Australian’s Top 50 Restaurants of the Year, he has also collaborated with P’NUT Asian Kitchen in 2022. His television presence expanded with his own show, ‘The Cook’s Pantry with Matt Sinclair,’ on Channel 10, and co-hosting ‘My Market Kitchen’ for Network Ten. An Ambassador for Tourism Noosa in 2017 and 2018, he later held the same role for Tourism and Events Queensland and Cobram Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Sinclair’s passion for food extends to brand ambassadorship, and he is currently developing The Sinclair Family Farm, known as Yellowood Hill. Married to Jess Sinclair, he is also a proud father to a son.

Harry Foster is a Digital Creator Today

Harry Foster, runner of season 8, has ventured into the digital world after his culinary journey. Returning for season 12, he has since transitioned into a multifaceted career as a self-proclaimed MasterExplorer. He has also ventured into photography and digital creation. Displaying a passion for fishing, his social media showcases captivating images of wildlife, from snakes and kangaroos to birds and crabs.

Currently, Harry has embarked on a new venture called Off the Beaten Coast, a platform encompassing exploration, adventure, photography, and food. Through this initiative, he shares recipes, photographs, stories, and expertise, inspiring others to explore the wild. As a ‘Masterchef’ turned Current MasterExplorer, his social media is a visual feast of his wilderness photography, encapsulating his love for nature and the thrill of the unknown. With a knack for capturing the beauty of the wild, he continues to engage his audience with his unique blend of culinary skills and a deep appreciation for the great outdoors.

Elise Winn is Married and Has a Baby Boy

Elise Winn, earlier known as Elise Franciskovic, faced elimination during the competition. However, she didn’t let that deter her culinary aspirations. After leaving the show, she shared her plans to continue working at Cairns Hospital while venturing into the world of extravagant cakes through her website. Unfortunately, her relationship with fiancé Emanuele Timpone didn’t stand the test of time. Elise found love again with Seb Sinn, and the couple welcomed their son in April 2023. They tied the knot in December 2023, marking a new chapter in Elise’s personal life.

Mimi Baines Works at Presale Makeovers

Mimi Baines has taken on a diverse array of roles since her time on the show. She collaborated with former contestants Emma Dean and Lynton Tapp on the cooking show ‘My Market Kitchen,’ where she served as the Prep Chef. She transitioned to freelancing as a home economist, contributing to privately catered events and creating cakes. Her professional journey led her to roles at The Cupcake Queens, Hole In The Wall Restaurant, and later News Corp as an Account Executive. In 2022, Mimi joined Presale Makeovers as a Project Manager. She has also embraced motherhood, adding a new dimension to her life with the joy of raising a beautiful daughter.

Trent Harvey is Now a Mortgage Broker

Trent Harvey, who reached the top six in the competition, took a different path after ‘MasterChef.’ He worked at Local Press Café in Kingston for some time and made appearances on ‘The Project.’ He tied the knot with his fiancée, Kristan, in December 2016. Eventually, he shifted away from the culinary world and became a mortgage broker at Mortgage Choice Broker Batemans Bay, specializing in Home Loans, Investment Loans, and Construction loans. This career change marked a significant shift for Trent.

Brett Carter Continues to be a Pilot

Brett Carter has continued his career as a pilot after the show. He also balances collaborations with other chefs and events while maintaining his full-time flying responsibilities. In 2019, he married Lisa Carter, and they are happily living together in Perth. He is also a proud father to grown-up daughters Jamie and Dylan, showcasing a fulfilling family life alongside his aviation career.

Chloe Bowles is a Pilates Instructor

Chloe Bowles, known for her venture Chloe Bowles, which was launched in 2020, aimed to share beautiful recipes, showcase Brisbane’s culinary scene and inspire people to appreciate life’s simple pleasures. Although this venture is no longer active, she released her cookbook ‘At The Table’ the same year. She has since transitioned to a new career as a Pilates Instructor and Recipe Developer at Premium Pilates and Fitness. Chloe is happily married to Caleb Bowles, and the couple has two children, adding a delightful family element.

Theresa Visintin is an Established Actress Today

Theresa Visintin has pursued an acting career, appearing in several movies and TV series such as ‘The Irrational,’ ‘Buying Back My Daughter,‘ ‘Come Fly with Me,’ and ‘Deadly Midwife.’ She also made guest appearances in popular shows like ‘Firefly Lane‘ and ‘Supergirl.’ Additionally, she hosted GustoTV’s ‘A is for Apple’ and also collaborated with fellow contestant Jimmy Wong for culinary adventures. Although her YouTube channel is inactive, she runs her business through a self-designed website. She is happily married with two grown-up sons and engages in brand collaborations.

Heather Day Appeared on ‘Shark Tank’

Heather Day returned to her home in the Adelaide Hills and launched her artisan butter product, Hey Day, after the show. She pitched the butter on Shark Tank and successfully investment from marketing guru Naomi Simson. She worked as a chef at Samurai Teppanyaki House and was associated with Howard Vineyard and Clover Restaurant before transitioning to sales at Remedy Drinks in 2019. Heather is happily engaged to Joel.

Karmen Lu is Now a Surveyor

Karmen Lu opened a dessert shop called Measure after her time on the show, which won Best New Venue in 2017. Although the shop is now closed, Karmen continues to share her culinary expertise through recipes, cooking demonstrations, and food blogging. She briefly worked as a Graduate Surveyor at Westgold Resources and AngloGold Ashanti Australia before settling as a surveyor at Roy Hill.

Anastasia Zolotarev is a Recipe Developer Today

Anastasia Zolotarev has pursued a career as a Recipe Developer, Food Writer, and Food Photographer post-show. She contributed to the cookbook ‘Put On A Spread’ and is currently writing her own book about the food culture of Belarus. Anastasia is happily married with two children and actively participates in charitable endeavors, such as the Cook for Ukraine fundraiser pop-up, where she made hundreds of Pirozkhis. Her social media platforms showcase her culinary creations inspired by seasonal produce, food culture, and traditions.

Nicolette Stathopoulos is a Client Manager

Nicolette Stathopoulos, known for her delectable desserts, has embarked on an impressive culinary journey since her time on the show. After ‘MasterChef,’ she ventured into the realm of pop-up restaurants, treating 300 people to four courses of desserts over three weeks. In 2016, she honed her skills in French patisserie at Millstone Patisserie and undertook internships with renowned names like Fifty Acres, Campari Group, and Modern Currency.

Nicolette’s dedication to her craft led her to pursue an advanced diploma in business public relations at RMIT University in 2020. Her professional experience includes stints at Croutons Fine Foods, Oasis Bakery, and WrightsPR. Since 2023, she has been making waves as a client manager at Bastion Amplify. Additionally, she shares her culinary adventures, recipes, and love for good food on her website. Also, she collaborates with brands like Kenwood Appliances, CRS Sugar, Hummingbird Co, GMS Silver, and Remedy Kombucha.

Zoe Konikkos is a Baker

Zoe Konikkos, Chief Marketing Officer at Koios Project in 2018, transitioned back to her roots in the food industry after a successful marketing stint. Returning to Melbourne from Singapore in February 2024, she currently owns Zoe Bakes Cakes, specializing in creative cake art and buttercream cakes. Zoe, happily married with two children, successfully balances her family life with her thriving cake business.

Miles Pritchett Works as a Ranger

Miles Pritchett, formerly a Design Support Officer at the Department of Transport, found his passion in wildlife conservation. Since 2014, he has served as a Ranger at the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, rising to the position of Senior Ranger at David Fleay’s Wildlife Park. Engaged to Tania Martin in 2016, the couple now shares the joy of parenthood with their beautiful daughter and frequently shares family trip moments.

Charlie Sartori is Now an Account Manager

Charlie Sartori, despite facing the challenges of cancer, has exhibited resilience and triumph. After working as a Customer Service Sales Representative at Acushnet Company and Titleist Golf from 2018 to 2021, he joined Mizuno Oceania Corporation as an Account Manager in October 2021. Charlie completed his chemotherapy in December 2022 and is now in good health. Engaged to Livrd since 2018, he embraces his role as a loving uncle to his sister’s son.

Cecilia Vuong is a Mathematics Teacher Today

Cecilia Vuong, a determined contestant who made a comeback in season 8, transitioned from the kitchen to the classroom. Now a mathematics teacher, she also runs a YouTube channel dedicated to teaching mathematics and showcases her versatility. While continuing her passion for baking and collaborating with different brands, she embraces the challenges of single motherhood with her daughter.

Con Vailas Owns a Restaurant

Con Vailas, who showcased his culinary skills on ‘MasterChef,’ has become a successful restaurateur. He now owns Born in Brunswick, a restaurant that emphasizes locally sourced, sustainable, and seasonal ingredients. In 2016, he married his longtime love, Sarah, in Tasmania, and the couple is now proud parents to two daughters.

Jimmy Wong is Now a Food Photographer

Jimmy Wong has ventured into various professional realms since his time on ‘MasterChef.’ In 2015, he assumed the role of Head of Social Sustainability, Asia, at Lendlease. Two years later, he explored the field of Development and Retail consultancy at Projects & Infrastructure Pty Ltd. Simultaneously, since 2016, he has been the director and owner of Jimmy Wong Eats, showcasing his culinary passion through food photography, brand ambassadorship, and content creation. A significant aspect of his journey is his role as an Ambassador for Be Centre, an organization offering one-on-one play therapy for children who have experienced trauma.

Nidhi Mahajan is a Food Blogger Today

Nidhi Mahajan, another season 8 alum, has transitioned into the realm of food blogging and content creation. As a food blogger, she shares her culinary creations through pictures and collaborates with brands for promotional content. Nidhi, happily married to Submit Mahajan, has found joy in expressing her culinary creativity in the digital space.

Olivia Robinson Keeps Her Life Under The Wraps

Olivia Robinson has maintained a more private after her ‘MasterChef’ life. Graduating in 2017, Olivia’s social media presence primarily revolves around sharing images of delectable food and homemade croissants. While she doesn’t reveal much about her life, a curious fan inquiry revealed that Olivia is currently in Bristol.

Adam Mizzi is Now The Field Marketing Manager

Adam Mizzi’s journey post-‘MasterChef’ has been marked by diverse professional roles. In 2017, he joined WOTSO WorkSpace as a founding manager. His career took a flavorful turn in 2019 when he proudly created Australia’s first Weber Grill Academy for Weber Barbecues Australia & New Zealand, a position he held until 2023. In the same year, he transitioned to Red Bull as a Field Marketing Manager. Personal milestones include his marriage to Anna Mizzi and embracing fatherhood in January 2023.

Nathaniel Milevskiy is a National Events Specialist Today

Nathaniel Milevskiy embarked on a dynamic professional journey after the show. He completed his graduate diploma in education in 2017, subsequently taking on the role of Regional Coaching Director at the Sunshine Coast Hockey Association until 2019. Following this, he explored roles at Empire Jerky and Clayton’s Towing Service before joining HiReach Rentals in 2022 as a Hire Controller. Currently, he serves as a National Events Specialist at Queensland Forklifts.

Ashley McConnell is Working in The Agriculture World

Image Credit: Ashley McConnell/LinkedIn

Ashley McConnell, a participant from season 8, has made strides in the agricultural and technology sectors. In 2015, he joined Agworld as a Sales Representative, and by 2020, he had risen to the position of Head of Customer Success (Australia), where he provides data-capturing solutions and agricultural insights. While he keeps his personal life relatively private, his profile picture hints at a fulfilling romantic relationship.

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