Get ready to drool: five restaurants owned by MasterChef Australia alumni

Fugazzi Bar & Dining Room is the brainchild of MasterChef Australia season six runner-up, Laura Sharrad

As MasterChef Australia sizzles back onto our screens for its 16th season, get the inside scoop on top-notch eateries run by former contestants.

Hey foodies! Brace yourselves for another mouthwatering season of MasterChef Australia, which will serve up a delectable array of culinary delights and kitchen drama from 22 April 2024. With fire, spice, and everything nice on the menu, you know you’re in for a treat! And if your stomach isn’t growling yet, just wait until you hear about the incredible restaurants owned by some of our favourite former contestants.

As the show spotlights fresh talent in its 16th season, we’ve dug deep to uncover where you can experience a taste of MasterChef magic firsthand. Thanks to the dining experts at Westpac Concierge we’ve got the inside scoop on these must-visit venues. So, grab your appetite and get ready to indulge. And remember that if you’re a Westpac cardholder, you may be eligible to unlock more insider tips and score coveted restaurant reservations. Check your eligibility today to dive into the deliciousness.

Five restaurants owned by MasterChef Australia alumni


Fugazzi Bar & Dining Room

Fugazzi Bar & Dining Room is the brainchild of MasterChef Australia season six runner-up, Laura Sharrad
Photo credit: Julian Cebo

As the runner-up in both MasterChef Australia season six in 2014 and the 2020 ‘Back to Win’ edition, Laura Sharrad has consistently dazzled judges with her pasta creations. Despite fan criticism for her pasta-centric approach, Sharrad’s dedication to her craft shines bright, as evidenced by her successful restaurant, NIDO Bar and Pasta, which she co-founded with her husband Max in 2019.

Following the success of NIDO, Laura and Max have gone full throttle into the food game with the Fugazzi Bar & Dining Room, which hit the scene in 2021. This New York-style Italian joint is a testament to Laura’s desire to share a taste of Italy with diners, serving up – you guessed right – pasta that’s so good, it bagged the champ title in the delicious magazine 100 awards 2023.

But the menu is more than just pasta, it’s a journey through ‘the boot’ of Italy, inspired by the Sharrads’ travel adventures. From crunchy Roman artichoke fritti to juicy wood-roasted spatchcock with charred lemon and salmoriglio (a southern Italian condiment), every dish screams Italian flair. And there’s vino as well, with drops from both Italy and France.

📍 27 Leigh Street, Adelaide, SA 5000


Ella by Minoli

Opened  in 2022, Ella by Minoli continues to mine Masterchef Australia season 13 and 14 contestant Minoli De Silva's Sri Lankan roots for inspiration, serving up a taste of her Indian Ocean home.

A chemical engineer-turned-chef, Minoli De Silva brings her culinary chops from MasterChef Australia seasons 13 and 14 straight to Northern Territory plates. With a passion for pushing boundaries, De Silva used the show as a springboard to dive into diverse cuisines, showcasing her Sri Lankan heritage and proving there is no limit to what she can cook up.

Opened in 2022, Ella by Minoli continues to mine De Silva’s Sri Lankan roots for inspiration, serving up a taste of her Indian Ocean home – which, in typical Aussie style, she left at the age of six. Fans of spicy, exotic cuisine will love dishes such asthe mouthwatering chicken curry, made to her mum’s recipe, and a curry leaf-cured snapper with finger-lime and coconut dressing, which De Silva first cooked on screen. What’s more, the drinks menu features a ripper selection of cocktails, including the Spice’s Espresso – a Sri Lankan twist on the espresso martini – and the Aliya, starring Arrack – a subcontinental spirit made from fermented coconut flowers or sugarcane.

📍 20 West Lane, Darwin City, NT 0800



MasterChef mates Sarah Tiong and Rashedul Hasan have teamed up to bring their fiery passion for food to life at OGNI

MasterChef mates Sarah Tiong and Rashedul Hasan have teamed up to bring their fiery passion for food to life. They first crossed paths on the set of MasterChef Australia season nine, in 2017, bonding over their Aussie upbringing mixed with Asian roots and a desire to ditch the corporate grind for a tastier adventure. Fast forward seven years, and they’ve finally made it happen with the launch of OGNI in December 2023.

Meaning ‘fire’ in Bengali, OGNI is a celebration of  the duo’s Southeast Asian heritage with a fair dinkum Aussie twist. This ain’t your typical fusion joint, as it’s all about embracing diverse flavours, textures, and techniques to create a culinary experience that’s uniquely Aussie-Asian. From the smoky goodness of charred octopus with tamarind mole sauce and Indonesian tomato salsa to the sizzle of charcoal-grilled calamari with green mango salad, every dish at this pocket-size restaurant tells a story of migration, innovation, and flavour explosion. As the name suggests, fire cooking and harnessing smoke are important parts of Tiong and Hasan’s philosophy .

📍 204 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010

Three Blue Ducks Rosebery

The winner of MasterChef Australia season four in 2012, Andy Allen has come full circleas a judge on the show since 2020 – as well as turning his win into a sizzling success story as a chef, food critic, and TV host. The co-owner of Three Blue Ducks Rosebery, opened in 2016, he’s the first ever MasterChef Australia alumnus to have won a coveted Good Food Guide Chef Hat – awarded to the restaurant in 2018.

This big, bright, industrial-style outpost brings the Three Blue Ducks group’s sustainable farm-to-table ethos to patrons. With a woodfire oven, charcoal pits, and an Argentinian grill out back, you’ll be hit with a wave of smoke that’ll have you drooling for more. Expect dishes such as wood-fired peri-peri prawns with fennel, saltbush, and lime, or 12-hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder with smoked labneh and glazed onions. And if fiery flavours ain’t your thing, no worries – there’s plenty of lighter options, such as Sydney rock oysters and butterflied rainbow trout, to keep your taste buds dancing. The restaurant is also famous for its Sunday roast lunch and Butcher’s Block Night every Wednesday.

📍 1/85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery, NSW 2018


Sum Yung Guys

The runner-up in MasterChef Australia season eight, Matt Sinclair shared his love for Asian flavours on screen, creating dishes such as duck two ways with char siu glaze, and snapper with dumplings, broth, and daikon noodles. Therefore, it came as no surprise that Sum Yung Guys, the restaurant he opened with mates in 2017, was inspired by Asian- cuisine.

Expect a Noosa spin on pan-Asian classics, with signature dishes including the Mooloolaba prawn toast, the fragrant lemongrass salad with pork belly, and the roast duck in red curry with lychee and snake beans. These modern Asian fusion dishes are designed to be shared, so don’t hesitate to order a few. And when it comes to drinks, they’ve got you covered with a cool cocktail list, Aussie beers, and a few gems from Laos and Vietnam. With an inside-outside dining room that screams ‘holiday mode’ louder than sunnies and thongs, Sum Yung Guys is the perfect place to kick back, relax, and enjoy good food with good mates.

📍 Unit 1/205 Weyba Road, Noosaville, QLD 4566


Aude Camus

Parisian-born Aude visited her first restaurant aged just a few days old – now she's always ready for her next meal. When not interviewing award-winning chefs or looking for a new restaurant to visit, you’ll find her planning her next getaway from Hong Kong where she’s lived since 2015. Her travel writing has appeared in online publications such as Destination Deluxe and The Hotel Journal, and she runs a lifestyle platform for French expats living in Hong Kong.

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