Daniel Churchill, a 24-year-old fitness coach from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, was sent packing last night when his New York-inspired smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel let him down in the latest MasterChef Australia elimination challenge. After speaking with Daniel today, we’re pretty sure he’ll bounce back; with a self-published cookbook already to his name, he has big foodie plans ahead.
Q: What was life like as a MasterChef contestant?
MasterChef has been the most amazing six months of my life. It’s incredible, the amount of stuff I have learnt. I cannot put it into words. I’ve made so many memories and friends, and I’m completely thankful. There are highs and lows, it’s a rollercoaster ride, but you learn a lot about yourself and I think that’s the most important thing.
Q: What were the high point and low point for you?
The lowlight would have to be the elimination. And the highlights were seeing the judges for the first time – these three people you’ve idolised for so long. And the public challenges, like Lygon Street. Then there’s hanging out with Heston for a day. And Paris, first class – wow! It just kept going and going for me, I had a really good couple of months.
Q: How are you feeling now about your elimination?
I’m a very determined person. I’m the kind of person who wants to succeed. I’ve allowed myself to finally be satisfied. At the time it was hard to take in – I was on such a high, coming back from Paris. But at the same time, you learn to deal with it and everything happens for a reason. As much as I was disappointed and getting so close to the end, I’m really happy. Top eight in Australia, I’ve done a good job!
Q: Speaking of determination, you’d already dabbled a bit with the foodie thing before you entered the competition, with your self-published cookbook DudeFood. What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on another cookbook. I’m very passionate about getting people to cook healthy food, so it’s going to be the healthy cook series, incorporating the DudeFood concept. I’ll be starting cooking classes, and I’m chatting about TV programs in the pipeline, so I can’t talk about that too much. I’m still working with the rugby and sporting side of things as well. So it’s onwards and upwards, and there’s a lot going on!
Q: Is it all about food for dudes?
It’s where it all started, but I want to help everyone. From here, it’s for kids and mums, grandmothers and granddads – I’m looking forward to it!
Q: Who do you think is going to take our MasterChef this year?
I think Rishi is a really strong cook, but I think Lynton is using what he’s learning and really accelerating. He can look at an ingredient and turn it into anything, and I think that’s off the back of him having an engineering background. I’m going to say my man Lynton, for sure.
Q: What three words best describe the MasterChef kitchen?
Rollercoaster. Educational. Emotional.