MasterChef contestants: Where are they now?

Come and see what our favourite past MasterChef contestants are up to now. From Lisa Faulkner to Shelina Permalloo, from Andrew Kojima to Matt Dawson...

Masterchef contestants

Come and see what our favourite past MasterChef contestants are up to now. From Lisa Faulkner to Shelina Permalloo, from Andrew Kojima to Matt Dawson...

MasterChef (opens in new tab) is back for the 13th series of the current format, with judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode taking the helm once again. So in its honour we've rounded up some of our favourite past contestants from all three variations, including the Celebrity (opens in new tab) and Professional (opens in new tab) versions.

Celebrity MasterChef 2022 contestants (opens in new tab) have just been confirmed.

We often wonder what contestants get up to after MasterChef, especially if they're crowned the winner. Some seem to disappear off the face of the earth, whereas others get busy building a food career for themselves - with lots of them go on to be very successful! 

From Lisa Faulkner to Shelina Permalloo, Andrew Kojima to Matt Dawson, we found out what our favourite past MasterChef contestants have up to since being on the show. Most of the contestants, especially the ones who go on to win, do very well for themselves, starting successful careers as chefs, publishing cookbooks and even opening their own restaurants. 

First up are the winners of the original MasterChef, who start out as amateur cooks and often go on to become professional chefs. In the show they have to overcome gruelling challenges under pressure, and perfect their cooking skills as they go along. So it's no surprise most of the amateurs come out on the other side with very successful careers in the food world. 

Winning MasterChef is not only a testament to their quality as cooks, it also shows how quickly they can learn and adapt to new challenges and come up with new dishes. 

'It's not the best cooks at the start that win MasterChef, it's the ones that learn the most and the quickest', said judges John and Gregg about the former MasterChef contestants who went on to win the programme.

You'll probably recognise many of their faces from the past 13 seasons of the show, from the first winner Thomasina Miers, to the latest cook to become MasterChef, Jane Devonshire.

Jane Devonshire

Who: Jane Devonshire.

Won: MasterChef 2016.

Where is she now: Since becoming MasterChef in 2016, Jane has been keeping very busy, appearing at food festivals and publishing recipes on her website. 

She's also been working in restaurants to get more experience, including spending one week at two star Michelin restaurant Le Gavroche in London's Mayfair. 

If you miss seeing Jane on your screen, you're in luck - she'll be making an appearance in this year's edition of Masterchef as a critic, alongside finalists Billy Wright and Jack Layer.

Simon Wood

Masterchef contestants

Who: Simon Wood

Won: MasterChef 2015.

Where is he now: Simon has gone become a chef at Oldham Event Centre in Manchester. The former MasterChef contestant also released a cookbook called At Home with Simon Wood: Fine Dining Made Simple, where he reveals some of his fine dining signature recipes that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home.

Ping Coombes

Masterchef contestants

Who: Ping Coombes.

Won: MasterChef 2014.

Where is she now: After winning the show in 2014, Ping has released her book Malaysia: Recipes from a Family Kitchen.

She's also a chef for Chi Kitchen, an Asian food restaurant with branches in London and Birmingham, and has been making appearances at food festivals and offering cooking lessons.

Natalie Coleman

Masterchef contestants

Who: Natalie Coleman.

Won: MasterChef 2013.

Where is she now: Natalie's been a busy bee after her series aired, co-writing MasterChef: The Finalists book and working on her solo cookbook, Winning Recipes: For Every Day, which came out in 2014 and includes the recipe for her MasterChef-winning Scotch egg. 

Natalie has also been cooking in a variety of different restaurants including Tom Kerridge's The Hand & Flower, taken part in charity events, cooked at food festivals, taught kids how to cook in schools and has worked closely with Jamie Oliver raising money for his Fifteen Foundation.

Shelina Permalloo

Masterchef contestants

Who: Shelina Permalloo.

Won: MasterChef 2012.

Where is she now: Shelina has been a success in the food industry ever since winning the programme.

She's published two cookbooks - Sunshine on a Plate, featuring recipes inspired by Mauritius, and The Sunshine Diet, which explains how she lost 22 kilos with the recipes included, offering the dishes to inspire others.

And if that's not enough, she's popped up at various food festivals, been spotted cooking on This Morning and is currently writing a blog for The Huffington Post - what a busy bee!

Andrew Kojima

Masterchef contestants

Who: Andrew Kojima.

Won: Andrew missed out on being crowned the champ in the 2012 show by a short margin.

Where is he now: The foodie took part in a fast-track training programme with chefs such as Michel Roux Jr and Gordon Ramsay only a few weeks after the show.

Now with some impressive Michelin-star chef skills up his sleeve, Andrew has been busy cooking for well-known celebs and hosting cooking demonstrations.

Dhruv Baker

Masterchef contestants

Who: Dhruv Baker. 

Won: MasterChef 2010.

Where is he now: Dhruv has since published his own cookbook, Spice: Layers of Flavour.

The former MasterChef contestant has also opened his own pub, The Jolly Gardeners, in Earlsfield, South London.

Mat Follas

Masterchef contestants

Who: Mat Follas.

Won: MasterChef 2009.

Where is he now: After winning the show, Mat has been fully focused on his food career. 

After closing the restaurant he opened in 2009, The Wild Garlic, he then went on to open Bramble Cafe & Deli in Poundbury with his wife and their business partner. He's also published two books: Fish and Vegetable Perfection.

Thomasina Miers

Masterchef contestants

Who: Thomasina Miers.

Won: MasterChef 2005.

Where is she now: Shortly after being crowned the first MasterChef winner, she filmed two cookery programmes for Channel 4 and presented a show called Mexican Food Made Simple.

Thomasina has also published a few different cookbooks including Soup Kitchen and is now more famously known as the founder of the Wahaca chain of Mexican street food restaurants.

Celebrity MasterChef contestants

Celebrity MasterChef contestants

Who doesn't like a good dose of Celebrity MasterChef? There's nothing like seeing our favourite celebs whipping up delicious dishes from the comfort of our own home. But once the show is done, do any of them go on to have a culinary career? Let's find out...

Matt Dawson

Masterchef contestants

Who: Matt Dawson.

Won: Celebrity MasterChef 2006.

Where is he now: Other than his usual gig, being a team captain on A Question of Sport, the retired sportsman has been making the most of his passion for food on the side.

The former Celebrity MasterChef contestant has also published his own cookbook, Matt Dawson: Fresh, Simple, Tasty.

Lisa Faulkner

Masterchef contestants

Who: Lisa Faulkner.

Won: Celebrity MasterChef 2010.

Where is she now: After beating Christine Hamilton and Dick Strawbridge in the final, Lisa went on to host a variety of food shows including Real Food Family Cook Off and What's Cooking?

Lisa recently published her fourth cookbook - From Mother to Mother: Recipes from a family kitchen - and has been dating MasterChef judge, John Torode, since 2015 - aw!

Phil Vickery

Phil Vickery

Who: Phil Vickery.

Won: Celebrity MasterChef 2011.

Where is he now: The sportsman's winning menu consisted of scallops, black pudding, crispy Parma ham and fondant potatoes - it all sounds rather amazing, don't you think?

Phil hasn't embraced his cooking skills as much as other celebs have once winning but he says he's been catering for his wife, friends and family and has made an appearance at a variety of food events over the years including MasterChef Live.

MasterChef: The Professionals contestants

MasterChef: The Professionals contestants

The contestants on MasterChef: The Professionals are already professional working chefs, but the exposure of being on national television could forever alter their careers - especially if they get the coveted title of MasterChef! Have any of them gone on to greater things in the food world? We found out for you!

Keri Moss

Masterchef contestants

Who: Keri Moss.

Won: MasterChef: The Professionals 2006.

Where is she now: The former MasterChef contestant Keri has been making the most of her title. She launched a new restaurant in Selfridges in 2013 and and took over as head chef at The Corner Restaurant and Champagne Bar.

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