Post-MasterChef Life: One Year On
It just dawned on me that it’s been 1 year to the day since I won MasterChef. Exactly 365 days ago Callum and I were centre stage in the most watched non-sport TV event in Australian history. We came out of the MasterChef house into a whirlwind, and it’s been a manic 12 months since. To mark the occasion, I thought I’d just look back at the year that’s been:
I’ve received tens of thousands messages of congratulations from within Australia and all over the world. England, India, the USA, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, the Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France… the list really does go on. In fact, it might even be easier to list the countries I haven’t received messages of thanks from. The sheer number of messages has been enormous, but please believe me when I say I’ve appreciated every single one.
I’ve worked in some of Australia’s best restaurants, including Tetsuya’s in Sydney and The Flower Drum in Melbourne. I’ve cooked every day and developed my cooking skills more than I thought possible in just one year. I’ve written more than 300 recipes and spent countless hours in the kitchen, enjoying every minute.
I’ve written a cookbook, and fulfilled a lifelong dream in doing so. It’s something that I’m extremely proud of and it’s received some fantastic reviews (like this one… and this one… and this one). It happens to be selling quite well too. I’ll even be attending my first Byron Bay Writers’ Festival just next week… as an author. It’s incredibly humbling when somebody tells you they’ve cooked one of your recipes and it’s changed the way their family cooks and eats. Never in my life would I have thought I could make a tangible difference, however small, to people’s lives through food.
I’ve filmed for TV in Australia, New Zealand and soon Malaysia; done literally hundreds of interviews for TV, radio and print; and photo shoots galore. It’s all a bit much really, but it doesn’t get in the way of the food. One thing I am really happy about is that I am getting a chance to write a lot more for magazines and newspapers. I’ve even had the opportunity to take Australian journalists and bloggers around Malaysia to show them what I love about the food of the country of my birth.
I’ve travelled on more than 120 flights, spent nearly 150 nights in hotel rooms, and travelled nearly 200,000 kilometres. That’s an average of new city every three days, and a total distance of nearly 5 times around the world! It’s exhausting, but post-MasterChef life is certainly good for the frequent flyer points.
I’ve moved back to Australia from Japan. I spent a 6 wonderful years living in Japan and travelling around Asia – eating, learning and working – but it is so nice to be back home in Australia.
I’ve won awards like FHM Australia’s “2011 Food Hero”, and been variously nominated for others as strange and diverse as “Favourite TV Star” at the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards. Walking red carpets and signing autographs for squealing fans is certainly not something I’m used to.
I’ve met some amazing chefs from around the world including Rene Redzepi, Heston Blumenthal (again), Florence Tan – the Queen of Nyonya Cuisine, and especially Iron Chefs Hiroyuki Sakai and Chen Kenichi, who I had the pleasure of dining with in Melbourne recently and who I will be working with in the near future.
I’ve cooked banquets at the World Expo in Shanghai, demonstrated at the Auckland Food Show and countless other shows around Australia such as Taste, Good Food Show, MasterChef Live and Fine Food Australia. I’m soon to travel to South Africa to demonstrate at the Good Food Show over there and am cooking a series of degustation dinners in North Queensland. These are all extraordinary experiences that I am incredibly grateful for. In my wildest dreams I never would have imagined my life would involve travelling the world, cooking and eating. It’s amazing fun and it never feels like work to be talking to people about good food.
So, what’s next?
The biggest project I’m working on at the moment is a plan for a casual Japanese restaurant (izakaya) here in Sydney. There’s nothing concrete to announce at this stage but we’ve put hundreds of man-hours into it so far with the hope of opening very early next year. I know it’s been a long time coming, but for me and my partners in Japan it is more important to get it done right rather than fast. Stay tuned for more on this one.
I have a few trips coming up to Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and Japan. I’m soon hosting a tour to Japan to assist (and cook for) victims of the tsunami and nuclear disaster along with the fantastic Iron Chefs, Hiroyuki Sakai and Chen Kenichi. I’m also planning a stage in one of my favourite restaurants in Japan.
I’m working on plans for my second book and hope to have that out within the next year. Writing my book last year was a wonderful experience, and it was so gratifying to see all the positive feedback. Still, I hope my next book can be even better!
While not the most exciting development, I know this blog is long overdue for an overhaul. I hope to start writing more regularly and especially posting more recipes and photos of what’s been happening. Stay tuned for a newer and more interesting site over the next few months.
They say that moving house, changing jobs and getting married are the three most stressful things you can do in life. In the past year I’ve done two of those things, but it’s been far more wonderful than stressful. I’m truly thankful to all of you for making this possible.
Good luck Adam! I’m definitely looking forward to your izakaya restaurant.
Wow! What an amazing time. I really love your book – not just the recipes and the concept but the stunning design as well. I loved that you talked about ‘onko-chishin’. My passion/business is Japanese textiles and antiques – and I keep that on the wall above my desk.
Congratulations on an amazing year. And wishing you every success and incredible adventures for many more to come. 🙂
Great post Adam!!
I’ve enjoyed your book — EVERY page has something I want to eat on it.
Looking forward to more posts on here and DEFINITELY looking forward to the Izakaya.
Good luck on it all!! We’re all behind ya.
Keep on writing Adam, I enjoy reading your blog as much as watching you on Masterchef! -fan from Malaysia
All the best! Oh and please come to Dubai and open an izakaya! There’s one good Japanese restaurant; Kusaku, and I got upset with them on an ethical food wasting issue.. Not sure how long I can last not going there or eating good Japanese food. Plus, Dubai is the place for a good foodie, food livers, cooks, gastronome, and chefs
That means I will have to take a 2 hour flight to Sydney to sample something from you!
what an incredible journey! :o) – Congratulations Adam 🙂
Sounds very hectic but exciting with exciting times ahead good luck with all your future plans.
Hopefully one day you’ll come north to Scotland for our Good Food show !
What a great year it has been for you thus far, congratulations on all your achievements! We look forward to hearing more of the many great things to come and of course the izakaya. Loving what you are doing. Keep it up!
Look at all that you have acheived in one year – amazing! Looking forward to your izakaya here in sydney. You must keep us all updated because there will be so many of us who would love to try it. Congratulations, Adam 🙂
Adam, to say that your life has changed ever since winning Masterchef Australia would be an understatement. I’m happy that you have and continue to reap the rewards of your victory. Always stay grounded, keep your fingers off from playing with new sets of knives (unlike Sean Presland who suffered 5 stitches after overly-inspecting them out of the box), and keep your focus on that plan of opening an ‘izakaya’ because it will surely be a hit.
By the way, I’m looking forward to your special appearance in Season 3 of the show (Season 2 airing is still wrapping up here in the Philippines), preferably in an invention challenge or a masterclass session. 😉
Please let me congratulate you again, Adam! I first watched your season of MasterChef in Lebanon, where I visited my husband who works there. And when it’s near the end, we had to leave to visit his family in South Africa, we saw that the season just started on a network there, so we got to catch the first few episodes we missed in Lebanon. After South Africa, I had to come back to Thailand, where I live, and guess what? MasterChef just started here! LOL Well, so I watched the whole season again (some episodes for the 3rd time!) and it’s been a blast the whole way through! You were my favorite along with Callum so I was very happy to learn that it’s you two battling it out in the finale. Great to know it’s been a fantastic year for you. I’ll be following your journey here. Best of luck with everything. 🙂
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good luck adam, hope you can also visit Indonesia for some cooking demo
Check you out in this pic!
as others, I also wondered how’s your Master Chef life’s going, and I’m glad you enjoy it. Watching Australia Masterchef, I was amazed by your creativity and sensibility on cooking. I’m hoping to find your book in jakarta. Definitely will buy one.
Congratulation on your success, good luck and keep enjoying your new life.
I’ve been waiting for this site, Masterchef Adam! Thank God you finally have it! And don’t you get tired writing for the site, ok?! It doesnt matter how little you make on each entry as you long as you write, masterchef! You inspire! God bless you, your family and people who matter to you so you keep on being happy and thereby keep on producing happy foooooooood! You rock!
I’m really enjoying every single episode of MasterChef Australia on TV this week
Looking forward to watching season finale tomorrow night 😀
Hopefully you can also visit Indonesia and try some Indonesian foods 😀
Adam!! Omedeto~ I’m such a huge fan of yours;)
I loved the way you spoke Japanese on the show☆ and of course all the dishes you cookedo(^▽^)o can’t wait for you to come down to Singapore!
From a Japanese fan living in S’pore:)
I am so happy for you Adam.
And just wanted to tell you – your book is brilliant. I hope you have the opportunity to write more cookbooks, you are so talented.
We’ve just watch the final between you and Callum some minutes ago, yes it’s still airing season 2 here in Indonesia. I’m so glad you win the competition. The best part of you is about your calmness instead of getting panic, in such a frustrating pressure like that. I do enjoy the show very much. Congratulations (sorry for being soooo…late ;p), great job, love the way you write, I think I will visit this blog regularly. Keep updating it. 🙂
For these past weeks, I rushed home from work or cut short my gym sessions just to catch episodes of Masterchef Australia’s second season. It was truly a well-deserved win for you, Adam — with your creativity and passion, coupled with your humility and sincerity. You are inspiring! You inspired all the way to Manila, Philippines. 🙂
Really inspired by how far you’ve come. It truly was a great experience to be able to meet you earlier this year at the Meld Magazine interview. All the best in your future endeavours. Cheering you on all the way!!
I might be in the back train here.. but still congratulation! I’ve just watched the finale last night in Malaysia. Am such a huge fan of yours. got nothing much to say then keep up your good work and boy oh boy.. you make me wanna learn more about food… May I ask, what TV show will you be on- the one you are filming for Malaysia… Can’t wait to watch it… Have fun through this journey and enjoy every step of it..
Lots of love from MALAYSIA. u ROCK!! 😉
hahaha..hi shazilah. we’re on the same boat. i’ve just watched the final last night too.
Adam, congratulations!! i just knew u will win it since the earlier episodes..
i sure hope ur izakaya is formed soon. i’ll be visiting sydney next year for my cousin’s wedding. sure hope i can taste some of ur cooking. me and my family just watched the finale betweeen u n callum on star world in cable tv here in indonesia (yeah, it’s 1 year overdue) and soon star world is about to air another masterchef us season (dont know which season tho). anyway, i do wish u’d stop by indonesia and do a special cooking show. i’d love to attend, even though i cant cook. :p
I’ve just seen the finale of Masterchef Australia here and just learned that it was actually a year ago 🙂
Anyway, Congratulations Adam! And to Callum as well. Even if its long time overdue 🙂
You two were great! Hope to buy the book that you have written and try your recipes (hope it turns out well)…
Looking forward to your posts 🙂
do update us here or on twitter when you’re coming to malaysia! big fan here from kuala lumpur malaysia! all the best adam! xx
So excited that you are coming to South Africa! I’m guessing it’s the Joburg show! Your visit hasn’t been advised yet, because Masterchef is still showing the last few weeks of the series here.
I’ll definitely be at the BBC Good Food Show, will Definitely come and find your book and hopefully will get to meet you and congratulate you.
Well done Adam. You deserve your success.
Hey Adam, the masterchef series was well received in Europe as well. Pity that no supplier seems to be able to get your book to Europe though…. I’ve had it on (pre)order since March, and there’s still no expected delivery date.
It would be awesome to actually participate in some kind of cooking workshop with you here in Kuala Lumpur. That would be awe inspiring I’m sure. In any case, keep up loving food! That way, it’s guaranteed that you’ll keep on making great food.
Can’t wait to see what you can cook up on a show here in Malaysia. That’s just super news 🙂
Dear Adam, yes “dear” because you’ve become much more than just another face on my TV during the past few months that we’ve watched Masterchef Australia 2010. The familiarity from total strangers must be something you never get quite used to, but even though you don’t know us, we know and love you guys. You and Callum had me in tears last night, happy ones! We only got to see the finale more than a year after it happened. The fun part today is to Google you and enjoy everything that has happened in your lives the past year. Congratulations on your win, on your brilliant cookbook, and on all the other things I’m still discovering. You and your fellow mates on Masterchef ignited a small passionate flame for food inside me, and even though it is just home-cooked meals so far, it is great to experiment! All of the best for your future ventures, and thanks SO MUCH for all the fun and good times we’ve had with you on our TV’s every week-night – going to miss you! 🙂
Hi Adam, can’t wait to see you at the Good food & wine show in Jo’burg! Will your book be on sale there? Regards, Ans
Congrats Adam on winning master chef 2010- the finale aired last week here in South Africa. Our whole family thoroughly enjoyed it right down to the nail-bite finish between you an Callum.
Thanks 4 sharing and updating your post. So great to have known your journey so far. I always enjoy reading your post. Thank you so much!!! I can’t wait to visit your restaurant in Sydney next year. All the best n good luck with everything!
I’m really looking forward to your izakaya in sydney as we really need a good authentic one!!! (I really like when they have the small yakiniku bbq on the menu!!).
Adam…its amazing your journey. Please come to Portugal!
Hope to see you in Portugal!!!!!
i have your book, just arrived last week 🙂
Good luck Adam, hope you can also visit Portugal… 🙂
Once again congratulations on the success! Sometimes we need to drastically change our lives to feel alive again. I think this should be your personal case. The focus on this life path is connected to the kitchen is certainly fascinating. I want all your plans come true. Be sure to visit Europe and especially Portugal, where the cuisine is unique and very rich.
Congratulations Adam .
YOI SOI pORTUGUESA, yoi me gusta mucho la forma como cocinas, me agradaria ter algunas recetas tuas, gracias
Congratulations Adam, best of lucks. I hope your wishes become real.
Congratulations!You had a year full of new experiences and you succeeded on fullfilling some of your dreams. I wish you could come to Portugal to get to know our delicious food.and winesI wish you the best!
The people in Portugal love´s you and i, particularly, wish you a great life anda great cooks. Waiting for your book.
I don’t understand why Maria Alves Madeira writes in spanish if she is portuguese. But it’s ok.
Good luck man, but don´t forget that we have amazing food here in Portugal. (and you do not know, perhaps you never tasted… …ah ah ah)
Muitos parabéns, belíssimo post e que magnífico ano. Espero sinceramente que o seu sucesso continue e que possa partilha-lo connosco. A vontade, a dedicação o empenho trazem sempre maravilhas. 🙂
Obrigada pela partilha
Good luck Adam !! you are a great chef and person !! greetings from Mexico
Hey adam, any change of you visiting The Netherlands now that it is 2 years after…
Greets and I love your cooking! Thanks for all the amazing recipes 😀
I would LOVE to visit the Netherlands! Hope I can get over there sometime this year!
Hey Adam! We finally saw your Masterchef season over here in Finland! While it was 20 degrees below zero Celsius outside during your season finals, it was warm at heart when you won!! Congratulations!! You´ve done amazing things since I´m sure, but still. Thank you so much to you for inspiring me to really visit our Asian markets here, half way across the world. Keep cool!
Hi , Adam I hope you check my message Im from Peru I am amazed for your talent i hope you get a fantastic lifetime and I am almost sure you find happiness wish you te best . your Dreams are already come true. : )
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Hi Adam, congratulations on your books. I love many of your receipies but one great problem that I have is that I am an 90 year male living alone and find it hard adapting receipies for 1 person to cook. A book for one would be great.