Occupation: Ex-Ground Staff
When she moves into the MasterChef House, Benita is leaving strict instructions for her husband Michael about tending to her beloved herb and vegetable garden. A passion at her Brisbane home, Benita loves cooking with fresh, organic produce, and one day hopes to transform that love into a career change. She’s particularly fond of her broccoli and cauliflower, and has recently picked up three chickens for fresh morning eggs.
While she might be the oldest cook in this year’s MasterChef kitchen, Benita won’t be letting any of the younger cooks stand in her way, using her wisdom and experience to keep her focussed at the bench. She says age is no barrier, and her compatriots will need to watch out for her this season.
After MasterChef, she hopes to kick-start her food dream – hosting a regular Ladies Long Lunches event in Brisbane. Benita says she dreams of long tables with generous sharing plates, and discussions between local producers and diners about food production and sustainable organic food growth.
Born and raised in Brisbane, Benita is the youngest of three children and has been married to husband Michael since she was 23. She is the proud mother of two daughters - Brienne and Dominique, and is now retired after working as a customer service supervisor for Qantas for 20 years.
Citing Rick Stein, Peter Gilmore, Shannon Bennett, Kylie Kwong, Neil Perry and Maggie Beer as cooks and chefs she loves to follow, Benita also admires Dominique Rizzo who owns Brisbane restaurant Putia. A keen traveller, Benita has fallen in love with New York City and Paris. She loves to cruise with Michael, and the pair have travelled by ship through the Caribbean and around Canada.