Hayden Quinn has proved himself to be one of the real contenders to take out the title of MasterChef this year — if you need more proof of his brilliant cooking skills, he’s competing in his second immunity challenge tonight and will make MasterChef history by being the first contestant with two immunity pins if he wins! We caught up with the Manly lifeguard today and covered a variety of topics, from his experiences on the show to who his celebrity crush is (more on that later). Here’s what Hayden had to say:
On the most surprising thing about being on MasterChef: “I think for me the most surprising thing is the variety of stuff that we’ve done. You sit and watch the show on TV and you don’t realise how crazy some of the stuff really is — the work that goes into getting these locations, meeting these people, and the names we’ve been able to cook for and cook alongside. It has been absolutely amazing — there’s chefs in the world that would pay millions of dollars to do some of the stuff that we’ve done. We’ve been so lucky and it feels so special to have been able to do it.”
On the variety of the challenges this series: “I think they’ve gone for a bit of a new format, a bit of a change. Some people are obviously gonna appreciate the change and others are gonna be stuck on the old model. That change, I think, is great — it’s not your standard mystery box, invention test double-header, and the immunity challenges have become more achievable — there’s no point having them if every week someone just gets bogged by a professional chef. It just adds another level of competition — the challenge preceding that, people are gonna be cooking harder because they know that if they get in that immunity challenge there’s a good chance that they have a shot at it.”
Keep reading for more from Hayden!
On his favourite chef: “My favourite ‘chef’ chef in Australia would be Peter Gilmore — the food that he creates is just amazing. I walk around with his book everywhere, and to replicate that in the tiniest degree would be amazing. A lot of my influences are around travel and culture and experiencing the world — in that regard, Anthony Bourdain is someone you can really look up to. He’s been a chef, he’s done the time and he’s now exploring the world and the world of food and culture.”
On whether he’d pursue a TV career after MasterChef: “That’s definitely something that I’ve thought about. It’s one option, or avenue, that I’d love to try and pursue. Coming into the show I didn’t really understand how TV works and how the production came across, but being a part of this show just opens your eyes to how much fun it is, and the opportunities, and all the different facets of television — not only just being in front of the camera, but all the stuff behind the camera. I’d love to pursue some sort of role in TV. If anything ever pops up I’d definitely be the first to throw my hand up. It’s an exciting opportunity.”
On his biggest threat in the competition: “Kate’s definitely gotta be a threat. She’s got so much determination and she’s definitely the one to watch.”
Photo courtesy of Network Ten