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Justin Narayan, a Fijian Indian youth pastor from Perth, clinched the title of Masterchef in season 13 of Masterchef Australia. Narayan beat Pete Campbell and Kishwar Chowdhury to win the coveted title.
In an interview with The Quint, he spoke about his journey in the Masterchef kitchen and a few of his favourites – ice cream, chilli, and his mum's chicken curry.
Did you consider pulling out of the contest at any point?
There was a moment in the competition where my dad had some health issues and stuff going on so, it was a moment where I thought I should go back there and see him and help out the family. Luckily, he got well the weekend I was able to visit him in the hospital. He's recovered since then and is doing really well.
Who is the one contestant who truly challenged you?
I think it would be Pete for sure. He definitely raised the bar real early in the competition for everyone, on the types of dishes that we could be creating and he would just be constantly studying and pushing himself and learning, so that's someone I really look up to.
We witnessed a flourishing bromance between Pete and you. Has your win changed anything between the two of you?
Yeah, look we don't talk anymore. Nah, I'm just joking, we're really good friends.
He's a really good mate and he was super proud of me for winning. And I would have been super pumped if he would have done the same as well. But our friendship and bromance is still quite alive and hopefully we'll be doing some fun things in the future.
Which was the toughest cook in the Masterchef kitchen?
The grand finale was definitely tough. That was a mammoth task. I feel like, yeah, whatever the next cook was always toughest. It got harder and harder as it progressed.
What about the most memorable cook?
I liked all the service challenges. The Martin Benn service challenge was a lot of fun.
It was the first service in that kitchen that received accolade from Martin and the judges for preparing that dish – a Michelin star dish, so it was huge honour.
Between Jock Zanfrillo, Melissa Leong, and Andy Allen, who's your favourite mentor?
That's a very tough question. Andy and I have a similar sort of demeanour. So, it kind of...I think we got along well. And he also had the experience of going through the competition and understanding where we're at, so it was always very helpful to hear his advice, hear his encouragement and it's really inspiring to see what he's done since then.
A Masterchef you really look up to?
Reynold is pretty unbelievable, I think, with what he has done with desserts. He just came in as an amateur cook and it's unbelievable to see how good he is and what he's done so far, so yeah, I really look up to him.
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