Masterchef Australia Season 9: Where Are The Contestants Now?

In the sizzling culinary journey of Network Ten’s ‘Masterchef Australia’ season 9, a plethora of passionate chefs emerged, each bringing their unique flavor to the kitchen arena. As they appeared on screens in May 2017, they battled through intense challenges that tested their cooking skills. Moreover, their overall creativity ignited fires of innovation. Naturally, they garnered a massive fan following who must be wondering about the whereabouts of these culinary warriors now that the heat of the competition has settled.

Diana Chan is an Established Chef Today

Diana Chan, the winner of season 9, has embarked on a remarkable journey since her victory. Post-‘Masterchef,’ she has diversified her career and made significant strides in various fields. One of her notable endeavors was hosting ‘Asia Unplated with Diana Chan,’ showcasing her culinary skills and passion for Asian cuisine. Notably, she has actively promoted tourism in Malaysia, her homeland, contributing to its cultural richness and gastronomic delights. Chan’s commitment to social causes is evident through her support for organizations like Beyond Blue and OzHarvest, aligning her culinary prowess with philanthropy. Additionally, her association with Golden Wok Australia reflects her dedication to culinary excellence and innovation.

Her influence extends beyond television as she launched a column in Delicious Magazine, sharing her culinary expertise and insights with a broader audience. As an ambassador for Alfa Romeo Australia, Chan represents the brand with elegance and sophistication, embodying a blend of culinary artistry and automotive luxury. Her collaboration with Luxury Escapes further showcases her versatile talents and entrepreneurial spirit. Her passion for sharing culinary knowledge transcends television, as seen in her role as co-host of ’10 Minute Kitchen’ and collaborations with fellow artists. Since 2018, she has served as the Director of Chanteen by Diana Chan, channeling her creativity into a culinary venture.

Her presence on Instagram series like The Healthy Cooks underscores her commitment to promoting healthy cooking and lifestyle choices. Notably, Chan is diligently working on her cookbook focused on wok cooking, promising to deliver authentic flavors and techniques to enthusiasts worldwide. In her personal life, she finds happiness in her relationship with her partner, Hugh Frecheville, cherishing moments of love and companionship amidst her bustling career. With her multifaceted achievements and unwavering dedication, Chan continues to inspire aspiring chefs and enthusiasts alike, leaving an indelible mark on the culinary world.

Ben Ungermann Fell Into Legal Trouble

Ben Ungermann, the runner-up of season 9, encountered a tumultuous journey after his stint on the show. While he made a return in season 12, his participation was cut short due to legal issues. In 2021, he found himself embroiled in controversy after being charged with assaulting a 16-year-old girl in a Melbourne hotel room. Despite the gravity of the situation, he managed to avoid a criminal conviction by enrolling in a plea deal, as reported by 9 News. As per the deal, he paid a fine, wrote an apology letter to the girl and admitted to a common law assault charge. He was supported by fellow ‘MasterChef’ contestant Benjamin Bullock.

Despite the legal challenges, Ungermann has remained active in his pursuits. He has become an ambassador for Ultimate Sports Nutrition, reflecting his dedication to fitness as a core aspect of his philosophy. Additionally, he is channeling his culinary expertise into a cookbook, showcasing his passion for food and innovation. His entrepreneurial spirit shines through as he collaborates with establishments like The Maslow and ventures into restaurant ownership. He also led the opening of HONG (House of Nasi Goreng) in Cape Town’s Mojo Market. In 2023, he expanded his culinary footprint with the launch of Ben’s Italian, a restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, reflecting his commitment to culinary excellence and global gastronomy.

In a significant shift, Ungermann has distanced himself from his family business, Ungermann Ice Cream, focusing on his individual ventures and personal growth. Embracing a holistic approach to life, he has prioritized fitness, emphasizing the importance of maintaining optimal health and well-being. In June 2023, he unveiled the ‘Ben Ungermann Tell All Documentary,’ providing insight into his life, career, and the challenges he has faced. Through his resilience and determination, he continues to navigate the complexities of his journey, leaving an enduring impact on the culinary and fitness spheres.

Karlie Verkerk Has Her Own Newsletter

Karlie Verkerk, the second runner-up of ‘Masterchef Australia’ season 9, has carved out a dynamic career path since her television debut. Following her stint on the show, she collaborated closely with Masterchef judge Matt Preston on his cookbook, ‘Yummy, Easy, Quick,’ showcasing her culinary acumen and creativity. Along with her television success, Verkerk honed her editorial skills at Bauer Media Group – Australia, where she served as a contributing sub-editor until 2016. Her passion for writing and food led her to become a writer for Home to Love magazine and later as a copywriter for Williams-Sonoma, Inc., demonstrating her versatility in both print and digital media.

Verkerk’s culinary expertise extends beyond writing as she has excelled as a freelance recipe developer and photo chef, showcasing her talents through visually appealing and innovative dishes. From 2018 to 2022, she held the prestigious position of deputy editor at Gourmet Traveller, a testament to her editorial prowess and leadership in the gourmet food industry. In addition to her professional pursuits, she maintains an engaged audience through her newsletter, Expat and the City, where she shares insights, recipes, and culinary inspiration. In her personal life, Verkerk celebrated a significant milestone as she tied the knot with James Want in 2021. The couple welcomed their first child, a boy, in 2022, embracing the joys of parenthood alongside their professional endeavors.

Tamara Graffen is Now a Food Director

After ‘Masterchef Australia’ season 9, Tamara Graffen embarked on a diverse culinary journey, starting as a Freelance Food Creative. In 2020, she assumed the role of Food Director at Suddenly, where she contributed her expertise for two years before transitioning to become the Food Director at Woolworths Group in July 2022.

Graffen’s passion for food is evident on her social media accounts, where she regularly shares tantalizing food pictures. Moreover, she utilizes her culinary skills on her YouTube channel, where she posts recipes and cooking demos. In November 2023, Graffen embraced motherhood, welcoming a son, Lenny James Graffen, with her husband, Tim Joe. Her love for travel often takes her to different destinations, adding to her culinary inspiration.

Arum Nixon is Working With Foundation Australia

Arum Nixon pursued catering and collaborations after the show, honing his culinary skills in Michelin-starred restaurants. Transitioning into the corporate world, he worked as a Strategy Director at Mindshare until 2017, followed by a stint as a Media and Marketing Consultant. In 2018, Nixon joined Foundation Australia, where he currently serves as the Head of Product, ensuring strategic and creative excellence for clients. He is embracing marital bliss as a husband to Fi Clark.

Sarah Tiong is the Author of Two Cookbooks

Sarah Tiong, known for her pop-up street food stall Pork Party, continued her culinary journey by co-owning and serving as the executive chef of Ogni Restaurant. She expanded her horizons as an author with her cookbook ‘Sweet Savory Spicy’ and ‘Modern Asian.’ While her YouTube channel is inactive, Tiong remains active as a content creator on Instagram. She is now a legal contractor at Allens. Embracing a fulfilling personal life alongside her culinary pursuits, she has found love with Aya.

Eliza Wilson is Now a Digital Creator

Eliza Wilson has transitioned into the digital sphere, becoming a recipe writer and content creator. As a mother of two, she involves her daughter in cooking demonstrations, establishing herself as a food blogger. Wilson’s career trajectory led her to become the Group Theatre Utilisation Manager at Epworth, showcasing her versatility and organizational skills.

Eloise Praino is a Legal Practitioner Today

Eloise Praino, The Longest Table Ambassador of 2019, continued her culinary passion by selling cakes and sweets at Nathaniel’s Coffee and Panini. Joining the Alex Mandry Legal Group team as a legal practitioner, she balances her legal career with her interest in cooking. Praino juggles her professional and personal life as she is engaged to Dylan Troath. Recently, he shared that he broke his foot and is now recovering well.

Callan Smith Went on a Weight Loss Journey After the Show

Callan Smith embarked on entrepreneurial endeavors, opening a candy-bar-themed pop-up store at Bondi Beach. Despite his weight loss transformation since the show, Smith’s passion for cooking remains evident through his YouTube series, Cooking with Callan. While his channel is inactive, he remains engaged on social media, sharing personal moments and celebrations. However, he keeps his professional life relatively private.

Sam Goodwin Owns a Food Delivery Service

Sam Goodwin has transitioned into a successful career as a freelance food creative and home economist, where he develops recipes, styles, and photographs of his creations. Currently, he serves as a Private Chef on the Bellarine Peninsula and also manages his own website for event collaborations and business operations. Goodwin’s entrepreneurial spirit shines through as he owns XO Project Kitchen, a food delivery service, and XO Bowls, a lunch bowls venture. He balances his professional and personal life with finesse and is engaged to Sarah Hoyle.

Nicole Stevenson is Working With an Eco Tour Agency

Nicole Stevenson has embraced digital creation, specializing in recipe creation, product reviews, and promotions. With a focus on cooking demonstrations and classes, she showcases her culinary talents as a chef at Saltwater Eco Tours. Stevenson has expanded her repertoire to include DIY projects and creations, transitioning to a vegetarian/plant-based vegan lifestyle. With a background in professional chef certification and association with Wild Canary restaurant, she continues to innovate and inspire in the culinary world.

Michelle Lukman is Now a Food Product Developer

Michelle Lukman’s post-show journey has been marked by significant educational and professional milestones. She got herself enrolled in the Cookery course at William Angliss Institute and pursued a Diploma of Food Science in 2020. Moreover, she furthered her studies in Nutrition & Food Technology at RMIT University and graduated in 2022. From her experiences at fine dining establishments like Vue De Monde to her current role as a product developer at Byron Bay Cookies and Rinoldi Pasta Pty Ltd, Lukman’s dedication to culinary excellence and innovation is evident.

Ray Silva Still Pursues His Passion For Cooking 

Ray Silva continues to indulge in his love for cooking while enjoying family life and bestowing all his love upon his two adorable daughters. Although he maintains an active presence on social media, he primarily shares personal moments, such as cooking special meals for his family on occasions like Mother’s Day.

Samuel Whitehead Owns a Health Food Store Today

Samuel Whitehead has made significant strides in the health food industry, opening Gut Feeling which is a family-owned business specializing in high-quality probiotic-rich ferments, pickles, and nutritious meals. Transitioning their operations to Port Elliot, South Australia, Whitehead and his sister Yasmin have transformed Gut Feeling into an iconic brand known for its commitment to quality and health.

Pete Morgan Has Opened His Restaurant

Pete Morgan’s culinary journey has seen him open his own restaurant, Daphs Restaurant Leederville (formerly Rusty Pig). He previously worked at notable establishments like Wildflower in Perth and Orana in Adelaide. In addition to his culinary achievements, Morgan has graced CityHive as a Q+A guest. He enjoys a happy relationship with his partner, Jenny.

Jess Jenks is a Clinical Nurse Today

Jess Jenks, formerly known as Jess Butler, has transitioned into a multifaceted career path since her appearance on ‘Masterchef Australia.’ She authored the cookbook ‘Cooking Outside the Lines,’ emphasizing the use of native ingredients in her culinary creations. Jenks has demonstrated her culinary expertise and creativity by venturing into hosting events and catering services. Currently, she serves as a Clinical Nurse Case Manager at State Health and as a Nurse at Austin Hospital, Melbourne, showcasing her dedication to both the culinary and healthcare fields.

Trent Devincenzo Now Owns a Food Truck

Trent Devincenzo has established himself in the culinary world through his food truck, Cultured Crust, while also collaborating with various events and conducting cooking demonstrations. Known for his passion for fitness, Devincenzo regularly indulges in gym workouts. Transitioning from his role as Cafe Head Chef at La Royale until 2020, he now serves as the IT Services Team Leader at bet365 since February 2024.

Benjamin Bullock is a Lawyer Today

Benjamin Bullock embarked on a remarkable journey after ‘Masterchef Australia’ season 9, undertaking a solo motorbike food adventure around the world. He attended the Fringe World Festival and subsequently became an Associate at Steedman Stagg Lawyers. He previously worked with Lynn & Brown Lawyers. He got engaged to Beth Parker in January 2022. The couple welcomed their first child, a boy named Sullivan Pip Parker⁣, in July 2023.

Bryan Zhu is Now an Artist

Bryan Zhu, after his ‘Masterchef’ stint, worked at Om Nom Kitchen and Dessert Bar before opening his own restaurant, Levitate Instant Restaurant. Delving into art and photography, Zhu showcases his creative pursuits on social media alongside his culinary ventures. He continues to innovate and experiment through his association with Cash Only Bar & Diner. Also, it is evident from his self-proclaimed title of “potato maker.”

Benita Orwell Continues to Keep Her Passion Alive

Benita Orwell, now retired from Qantas, continues to share her passion for cooking with her fans through social media. She cherishes her role as a grandmother, often sharing moments with her grandchildren. Orwell’s love for food remains unwavering, keeping her culinary journey alive and thriving.

Pia Gava is an Author and Also Conducts Cooking Classes Today

Pia Gava, the author of ‘Pia’s Table,’ now hosts cooking classes and events. She is also on the path of writing her second cookbook. She maintains a dedicated website and blog for her recipes and collaborations, showcasing her culinary expertise and creativity. Pia is married to Tony Gava and has two kids.

Josh Clearihan is Still Into Wine Dining

Josh Clearihan’s aspiration to open a wine and coffee bar has become a reality as he immerses himself in the world of wine and dining. Engaged to Steph Rowland, Clearihan balances his professional endeavors with his passion for wine exploration and mushroom hunting.

Lee Behan is the Director of a Pub

Lee Behan, with a background in operations management, currently serves as the Head of Hospitality at Good Drunks Australia Ltd. Additionally, he has held the position of Director at Molly’s Irish Pub since December 2023, while pursuing wine studies at Wine & Spirit Education Trust. Married to Gemma Leslie since 2018, Behan juggles his professional responsibilities with his passion for the hospitality industry.

Rashedul Hasan Owns a Restaurant

Rashedul Hasan, owner of Ogni Restaurant, now blends Modern Australian cuisine with South and Southeast Asian heritage. While working as a program director at Ericsson, he remains actively involved in the culinary scene. He frequently shares his expertise through social media and his YouTube channel. Married with two children, Hasan’s dedication to both his professional and culinary pursuits is evident in his multifaceted career.

Read More: Masterchef Australia Season 2: Where Are They Now?