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My MasterChef Journey

Updated: Sep 16, 2018

A little insight into my MasterChef experience.

Since the show started 10 years ago, I was obsessed with MasterChef Australia. The idea that someone who loves cooking so much, could actually have a chance to take their passion in food to the next level, was something which I was insanely interested in, but in the early days - just happy to watch and dream from afar. I had MasterChef nights with friends, and in the back of my mind, always wanted to 'give it a go' but never really thought I was good enough, and didn't want the shame of failing to be so public if it never worked out. So, I watched, and went to live overseas, and watched and travelled and dreamed quietly.

Then I came back to Australia, applied and failed - went travelling again, came back to Australia and applied again - this time I felt like I was in a better headspace, and really tried. I failed again.

I decided that it wasn’t meant to be, and went back to the day to day life of selling travel, and being on the road. I was content, but not satisfied. MasterChef emailed me to say we think you should keep trying - don’t give up. My niece agreed!

“Aunty Jo, why wouldn't you keep trying if you really want to do it”

And so, just like that - on the last day of applications being accepted, I filled out the questionnaire again and never really thought much more about it. If it is meant to be then it will come about - the universe will make things happen when they are meant to. Back on the road. Then the call came - can you come to the auditions again - we think you are great!

And so, I did - I showed up to each round, never with an expectation that anything else was going to come from it, and I would just go back to work when it was all over. Then I made it through the second cook, and they loved my signature dish - told me not to change a thing - it was great! I think at this point I started to wonder if this might actually be something that could happen? Maybe I should tell my family what I am doing - just in case? Nah... don't get cocky - back to work, back to traveling.

So, I went off to the USA to lead a group of school girls through Space Camp, and it was while I was in Alabama, I got the call from the show to say we want to have you in the top 50 for judges’ auditions! I may have sworn a little (is there such a thing as good swearing?) and was very excited. Now I had to put my money where my mouth was and really back myself 100%

In order to attend Judges auditions, I would need a week off - so I asked for my employer to give me a week - just to see if it worked out. If I didn't get an apron, I would just go back to work the next day and know that I had given it a shot - box ticked, job done. If I DID get an apron, then it would mean another conversation, but I didn't really think that was going to happen so don't worry about it too much! He said yes - take the week and give it all you've got!

2 weeks later he emailed to say - you know what - I have changed my mind - you cannot have the week off, and can’t be in the auditions. I was devastated. Now I really had to face the music with myself. Do I believe in myself – or do I walk away from the possibility of winning an apron because I needed job security, or do I jump off the cliff and back myself and figure out the rest later. Walking away would leave me forever with regrets...

I jumped.

Walking into the Judges auditions was so emotional - I had walked away from a job, an income and anything that was a guarantee and was risking it all on 3 guys who may or may not like what I had done. You cannot understand the terror of this moment, and then the pure joy of it when they all said yes immediately! My gamble had paid off - I was in the Season 10 Top 24!

Follow me to hear about my food stories, my life adventures and crazy things that I have done, and that I still plan on doing - it will definitely be delicious and fun!

What is the biggest risk you have taken in life? Would you jump? Or would you play it safe and watch from afar?

Jumping is scary, and amazing and everything in between, but I wouldn't change it for a minute!

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