Justin Narayan, who won MasterChef Australia Season 13 after beating competitors Pete Campbell and Kishwar Chowdhury, has an impressive fanbase, particularly from the Indian audience.
Justin, who started out slow in the competition, went on to win the hearts of Indians and other fans after creating several regional dishes from here that received hearty praise from the judges. Some of his best Indian dishes included Indian Chicken Tacos, Charcoal Chicken with Toum, Flatbread and Pickle Salad, and Indian Chicken Curry.
So, who exactly is Justin Narayan? What has his journey with food been like? We present to you 10 interesting facts about this MasterChef.
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1) Justin Narayan is a Fijian citizen with Indian origin, and a first-generation Australian who is currently living in Perth, Western Australia.
2) Justin is the second Indian-origin chef to win MasterChef Australia. In 2018, prison guard Sashi Cheliah became the first-ever contestant with Indian roots to bag the title.
3) Very few manage to bag a perfect 40/40 score in MasterChef, especially in the finals. However, Justin blew the minds of fans and judges by cooking two of Australian chef Peter Gilmore’s dishes: Shaved Southern Squid with Koji Butter, and Shiitake Custard with a Golden Crackle, earning him an impressive score.
4) While it is usually unlikely to see true friendship among contestants in a competition, Justin appears to be great friends with fellow contestant and finalist Pete Campbell. The former has shared several glimpses of their friendly rivalry and fun moments on the set on Instagram.
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5) Guess what plans the chef has with this prize money? Justin plans to make some smart investments and create online content for now. While the idea for a restaurant is on the cards, the chef says he requires experience in the kitchen to open a place of his own, according to reports.
6) Justin Narayan also appears to have a philanthropic side to him! Reports say the chef has worked as a youth pastor and helped create a safe community for teenagers.
7) Justin’s philanthropy does not appear to stop with creating a safe community for teens. The chef revealed to media sources that he would one day love to establish a food truck or restaurant with Indian dishes that he grew up eating, and that some of his earnings would go towards helping feed and educated children from economically weaker backgrounds in India.
8) Guess what age Justin began cooking at? At age13! The little chef began showing an interest in food right from a young age, and was mainly inspired by his mother’s Indian cooking.
9) Justin also revealed that he would often enjoy cooking with his ‘thatha and paati’ (grandfather and grandmother).
10) Did you know that Justin put his Masters studies on hold to explore his chances in the MasterChef kitchen? Looks like one thought can truly change a person’s life!