MasterChef AU star David is cooking through the emotions

MasterChef’s ‘mad scientist’ David is navigating a roller-coaster of emotions
MasterChef contestant David stirring a pot

Pharmacologist by day, experimental cook by night, MasterChef Australia’s David Tan is one of the most unique contestants this season due to his scientific approach to cooking.

Treating the show’s kitchen like his laboratory has paid off in some moments, but it’s been the Gold Coast resident’s downfall in others.

“It’s both an advantage and a disadvantage,” admits David, 30. “With the first service challenge, I would’ve had no idea how to come up with a three-course menu. But when I have a problem, like infusing the caramel with Aperol, I can work that out on the spot. I was the problem-solver on the dessert section that day and it worked out really well for the team.”

However, David says his analytical brain doesn’t work well with mystery box challenges. “They’re really difficult for me,” he admits. “If I don’t know the science behind a certain thing, I’m just going in blind.”

MasterChef contestant Davis holding a mystery box, throwing his head up to the sky

Despite those curveballs, David – who emigrated to Australia from Singapore seven years ago – says it’s the competition’s highs and lows he finds most challenging.

“That’s one of the hardest things to manage in MasterChef – the emotions! One day, you’re cruising along and, the next, you just sink all the way to the bottom.”

David credits judge Poh Ling Yeow for helping him through tough times. “Poh is this motherly figure,” he says. “I had a bit of a crying moment and she gave me a hug after that. She could relate, coming from Southeast Asia as well – and she’s always smiling!” That was really nice to have.”

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