The world’s most famous cooking show franchise all began with MasterChef Australia’s ingenious take on UK’s original MasterChef series. The Australian version started the now popular format of hundreds of home cooks competing to be part of a small group of contestants, cooking from challenge to challenge to make their way to the title of MasterChef.
Now in its eighth season, MasterChef Australia, premiering July 4 on LIFETIME and airing 8PM all weekdays, has only gotten bigger and better. Judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris return to offer their guidance to the group of contestants. Joining them are big international names such as the Queen of the Kitchen herself, Nigella Lawson, as well as Heston Blumenthal and Marco Pierre White.
The most exciting part of the next season is the new batch of bright, aspiring home cooks prepared to cook for their dreams. Part of the current crop of contestants are siblings Jimmy Wong and Theresa Wong-Visintin. The Singaporean-born brother and sister were exposed to the world of food as children, when their family operated various local grocery stores and restaurants. The creative siblings both pursued a career in design until realizing that their true calling lay in cooking. MasterChef Australia gives them the perfect opportunity to hone their craft and show the world what they can do.
The duo brings an edge to the competition with their different styles and personalities. As well as his upbringing in different countries, Jimmy has traveled to many parts of the world for his job. “My travels definitely have a big influence on my cooking. When you visit a place, you really get to learn about their culture and their food. Especially when you visit the local markets,” he explains. Having extensively explored Europe, Asia, and some of the Americas, Jimmy has the knowledge of different cuisines. “Right now, I enjoy cooking Japanese food and using Japanese flavors in different ways. They don’t have to be authentic. I also really like mixing cuisines,” he shares.
And when Jimmy has cooked his food, he brings in his design skills to create the perfect plating. “For me I like to really keep my cooking simple, but presented in a way that people enjoy the aesthetics of it,” he explains.
Theresa, on the other hand, gets her inspiration from her mother and her Italian mother-in-law who has taught her a lot about Italian cooking. “I’m not usually a fancy cook,” she clarifies. But the mom of three is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to creating delicious flavors.
Going into MasterChef Australia means competing against each other, but the siblings have reacted positively to that idea. “It’ll be hard to be pitted against each other,” admits Jimmy, “but at least I have someone on the show that I am comfortable with and who I know and knows me very well.” Theresa shares the sentiment. “I think being able to share this experience with Jimmy is really, really great,” she relates.
Jimmy and Theresa agree that no matter the results of the competition, it will be great to have shared the experience and they both will continue to pursue their passion of cooking. Jimmy plans to settle on the banks of Tasmania’s Huon River, on a property running food tours and cooking workshops for guests. Theresa hopes to work on a television food project where she can share her insights on how to elevate the art of dining in.
But first, they have to battle it out in the MasterChef Australia kitchen to hone and prove their skills, and maybe win major prizes that could get them closer to their dreams. Catch Jimmy and Theresa on MasterChef Australia every 8PM all weekdays on LIFETIME.
Lifetime™ is available on SKYCable Ch 65 and Lifetime™ HD Ch 199; Cable Link Ch. 223; Dream Satellite Ch 28; Destiny Ch 44.