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MasterChef Australia 2021: Minoli De Silva's Surprise Job, Travels And Food Journey After Losing Sense Of Taste

There's more to the South Asian Australian home cook from Melbourne than meets the eye.
'MasterChef Australia' contestant Minoli De Silva
'MasterChef Australia' contestant Minoli De Silva

‘MasterChef Australia’ viewers got a first look at some of the 2021 contestants when the new promo dropped on Wednesday.

One of the home cooks in the running to score the final trophy is Melbourne’s Minoli De Silva, whose appreciation for food took a new turn after she lost her sense of taste at age 31.

“It slowly started to come back and it’s given me a whole new insight into the flavour and an understanding of the food that I never had before,” she said in the trailer.

Of course, there’s a lot more to the design engineering manager who joins a diverse lineup of contestants on the Channel 10 show this year.

The proud South Asian Australian is just as big a fan of travel and culture, as she is food.

'MasterChef Australia' contestant Minoli De Silva
'MasterChef Australia' contestant Minoli De Silva
'MasterChef Australia' contestant Minoli De Silva is from Melbourne
'MasterChef Australia' contestant Minoli De Silva is from Melbourne

In a post shared on Couchsurfing a few years ago, Minoli revealed she had “lived and travelled in Thailand as a teacher for one year” and had also worked in outback Darwin for one-and-a-half years.

She’s scuba dived in the Red Sea in Jordan, and said her mission was to “taste traditional dishes from every country I visit”.

“I try and learn a little bit of the language of each country I go to, and my main reason for travelling is my passion for learning about and trying amazing food, as well as immersing myself in wonderful cultures,” she wrote on the website that connects travellers.

“I thrive on cooking, and it makes me a happier person when I’m making yummy dishes.”

'MasterChef Australia' contestant Minoli De Silva lost her sense of taste at age 31 before it eventually came back.
'MasterChef Australia' contestant Minoli De Silva lost her sense of taste at age 31 before it eventually came back.

Minoli featured in the newest promo for ‘MasterChef Australia’ on Wednesday night which revealed some of the faces of the fresh cast.

While these home cooks are not famous like last year’s all-star contestants, they bring incredible food, immense ambition and inspiring culture to the table.

“The amount of heart and soul and drive is exceptional this year,” judge Melissa Leong said in the clip, while Andy Allen added, “They all have a unique story”.

Fellow judge Jock Zonfrillo hinted this season will again be just as much about getting to know the people wearing the aprons as it will be about the delicious dishes they whip up.

“They need to follow their hearts, they need to stay true to themselves,” says Jock, before later adding that “when someone follows their dreams, you start to see something magical happen”.

'MasterChef Australia' judges Melissa Leong, Jock Zonfrillo and Andy Allen appear in the show's new promo as some of the 2021 cast is revealed.
'MasterChef Australia' judges Melissa Leong, Jock Zonfrillo and Andy Allen appear in the show's new promo as some of the 2021 cast is revealed.

The preview gave viewers a glimpse into the lives of some of the contestants, proving there’s a diversity of back stories that will come to life on screen.

Other contestants include “self-taught cook” Brent, Kishwar who is from a family of Bengali cooks, French pastry lover Therese, and self-proclaimed “feeder” Elise.

Emelia Jackson won ‘MasterChef Australia: Back to Win’ in 2020, with Laura Sharrad finishing second and Reynold Poernomo third.

The all-star season was followed by ‘Junior MasterChef Australia’, where 11-year-old Georgia took the winning title.

Channel 10 is yet to announce a premiere date for ‘MasterChef Australia’ 2021.

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