MasterChef’s Fine Dining King Pete Campbell Is Now Working at Australia’s Best Restaurant
Ultimately, it was Justin Narayan who walked away as the victor after a five and a half hour pressure test set by Peter Gilmore of Bennelong and Quay restaurants in Sydney.
Narayan may have won the $250,000 prize money, but Campbell caught the eye of Gilmore — undoubtedly one of the country’s top chefs — and the former tattoo artist will now be starting work at Gilmore’s Quay once the city’s COVID restrictions are lifted.
“I’m very lucky, a lot of people a messaged about opening a restaurant,” Campbell told POPSUGAR Australia.
“That’s obviously the long term goal but, realistically, I just don’t know enough. If I were to open a restaurant, it has to be good and I wouldn’t want to do it and do a bad job of it. Right now, I just don’t know enough about the industry or cooking.
“But, being very lucky to meet Peter Gilmore in the finale, he’s offered me a job at Quay. So as soon as lockdown is finished, I’ll be starting there to be learning under Peter.
“It’s arguably the best restaurant in Australia so this is such a surreal end to my MasterChef journey, and an incredible beginning to actually becoming a chef, which was my goal at the beginning of this.
“Now, achieving that at the best place possible. It doesn’t really get any better.”
Of course, we all came to know and love the “bromance” that blossomed between Campbell and Narayan with Campbell revealing that the hilarious pair actually helped each other become better chefs.
“It’s hard to explain when you do just click with somebody, but early on we spent a lot of time together and had similar senses of humour,” said Campbell.
“It was just always fun. As soon as we were cooking, hanging out with Justin made everything a lot more enjoyable and a lot easier to kind of get around the pressure and stress of the competition.
“And then, as we became more confident, we brought that into the kitchen and always tried to cook next to each other to just enjoy it more. And I’d say that’s probably where both of our cooking skills improved a lot. Juzzy is just a very, very special friend.”
Interestingly, Campbell revealed another element that allowed his cooking skills to evolve; the sheer number of elimination cooks he participated in.
While most contestants would approach such pressure tests with trepidation, and welcome the chance to win immunity to avoid them, Campbell said that, for him, they only made him a stronger cook.
“I think if I had avoided more eliminations, the finale would have been probably overwhelming. I’d always be disappointed when I went into elimination, but the competition isn’t won on the gantry — you’ve got to cook,” he said.
“So the more I was able to cook and get used to the nerves and become more comfortable, it was definitely valuable.”
Follow Pete on Instagram @my.mate.pete