Bribie chef shares culinary dream on MasterChef

Published 11:00am 4 June 2024

Bribie chef shares culinary dream on MasterChef
Words by Nadia Chapman

Bribie Island local Stephen Dennis ramped up his cooking skills on season 16 of MasterChef Australia.

While he was eliminated from the show, the 62-year-old was the oldest contestant in this year’s competition and floored the judges every step of the way.

“My wife and her belief in me would probably be my biggest inspiration (to apply for MasterChef),” Stephen says.

Stephen’s love of cooking came from travelling around the world.

“Apart from getting an Australian Woman’s Weekly cookbook, my travel and the different foods I had the opportunity to try (drew me to my love of cooking),” he says.

“Once I was back in Australia, I found the cost was just too much to regularly eat out at restaurants, so I started cooking more at home.”

Cooking at home blossomed into a genuine love for it; contributing to his fruitful journey on MasterChef, to which there were many highlights.

“The first day walking into the MasterChef Garden with the amazing smells and the beautiful plants was a highlight. Also, seeing the bench dedicated to Jock brought tears to my eyes,” Stephen explains.

The world is his oyster

While Stephen is still looking for the right opportunity to showcase his cooking abilities in the future, he says Bribie Island will always be at the forefront.

“(Having support from the community) is wonderful. The community has always been very welcoming,” he says.

“You can’t walk down the beach without someone saying “hello,” and that was before MasterChef! I am proud to be a Bribie Islander.”

Excitedly though, Stephen will appear at this year’s Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival, but he doesn’t want to give away too much just yet.

“I don’t want to give too much away…but I’m very proud to be a part of it! I love the idea of sharing our beautiful local produce, we are in a very special part of the country and have stunning seasonal produce,” Stephen explains.

“I want people to understand how lucky we are in the region. We have some wonderful producers, and we need to support our local businesses and farmers.”

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