Justin Narayan Wins Masterchef 2021
Varsha Saini | On 14, Jul 2021
Indian-origin contestant Justin Narayan has won season 13 of MasterChef Australia. Justin emerged the winner after defeating two other finalists – Kishwar Choudhury and Pete Campbell.
He’s the second Indian-origin person on the show to take home the MasterChef trophy. Before Justin, it was prison guard Sashi Cheliah who had won the title in 2018.
The 27-year-old youth pastor from western Australia looks within his family for food inspiration. With Indian and Fijian parents, Justin told 10play that his mother is the best cook he has known. Justin has always been close to his pati (grandmother) and tata (grandfather), watching cooking shows together and cooking for them, the online portal reported. Justin, who started cooking at the age of 13, loves creating memorable meals.
During filming, Justin’s father fell sick and ended up in the ICU, which unsurprisingly had him contemplating his place in the competition.
“He got sick during filming and ended up in ICU for a few days, and it was touch and go if I would continue with the comp or not, but he ended up getting better and got out of the hospital,” shares the 27-year-old.
Although his father thankfully overcame his illness in the thick of the situation, Justin leaned on his co-competitors, Brent Draper, Pete Campbell and Amir Manoly, for support.
Justin, who travelled to India in 2017, hopes to would love to one day have a food truck or restaurant featuring the Indian flavours he grew up eating. During his MasterChef Australia 13’s journey, he impressed judges with Indian flavours by cooking Indian chicken curry, pickle salad.
Family means a lot to Justin, and when he found out he won, his dad was the first thought that came to his mind, and Justin was instantly grateful he could have his grandparents and fiancée Esther with him in the kitchen.
“The first person I thought of would have been my dad, who was next to me, which was awesome,” he remembers.
“And then my grandparents; so it was really special to have them around, and it was really awesome to have my fiancée there. I definitely wouldn’t even have signed up if it weren’t for her.”
Although, before his gratitude sunk in, Justin had to regain some clarity because he was so shocked to find out he won that he totally “went blank.”
As for his culinary future, he would like to get some more experience before one day opening his own restaurant.
“I would love to create some food content, which I am working on at the moment and hopefully get some experience in the kitchen, and work towards opening my own place, and that would be real cool.”
For everyone wondering what cuisine Justin would like to create, the former paster is still working that out – so watch this space!
“I still haven’t figured it out. I think I still want to get a little more experience and see what new techniques I can work with, but I do love the nostalgia of the food I grew up eating, so I am sure that will sneak into every type of food I make,” says Justin whose Fijian and Indian background inspires his cooking.