MasterChef has been the perfect stepping stone for past contestants who have gone on to everything from authoring cookbooks to running acclaimed restaurants.

In anticipation of the biggest season yet, here's what just a few of our favourites are up to now:

1. Reynold Poernono

The 'Dessert King' has lived up to his name in many ways since his run on MasterChef season seven, having opened popular Sydney dessert spot, KOI, with his brothers.

Though it took a lot of hard work, Reynold now boasts a restaurant that offers a fine dining experience on the upper level and a more relaxed patisserie-style cafe downstairs. In a recent Instagram post, Reynold commented on his MasterChef experience saying "it really has been a tough road to achieve my dreams but still a long way to keep moving forward, without MasterChef AU I'd probably still be studying for a degree that I completely sucked in. Masterchef allowed me to focus and create the drive to pursue to be the best that I can be in the industry." 

2. Matt Sinclair

He may have been runner up during the show's eighth season but Matt Sinclair has been a winner in every way since. He now runs '10 Piece Cutlery' at Brisbane's Eat Street Markets with friend Moe, serving up everything from tacos to sliders and wings with a South-East Asian twist. Matt also has plans to expand into event and wedding catering, with the same scrumptious street-style food that wowed the judges on MasterChef.

3. Hayden Quinn

Since appearing as a contestant in season three, Hayden has emerged as a force to be reckoned with, having released two cookbooks and presented his own cooking show. A regular contributor to Delicious Magazine and Delicious on Sundays, Hayden is also a partner in the Aussie wine label Kooks Wines. 

4. Elena Duggan 

She won the top prize last season and it was well deserved. MasterChef Australia 2016 winner Elena opted to defer opening a restaurant for a year to gain more experience, but is currently looking for a property to house her first restaurant. Given the quality and scale of the dishes Elena presented last year, it's safe to say the menu at her restaurant will be something truly spectacular. 

5. Nadia Lim

While Nadia appeared in the New Zealand version of the series rather than Australian, we simply had to include her! Since cooking her way to the top spot, Nadia has worked hard to end the 'what's for dinner?' dilemma for so many Kiwis by launching My Food Bag, and more recently, the new Fresh Start programme. Nadia's face regularly graces our screens, not to mention magazines and papers that she contributes for.