MasterChef Australia star Josh Clarke on why his family are his biggest fans

MasterChef Australia promo image of Josh ClarkeImages: Supplied

Josh Clarke says wife Laura had so much faith in his cooking skills, she was willing to parent their three young children solo while he was a contestant on MasterChef Australia. Not only that, it was Laura who secretly filled in Josh’s entry form in the first place!

“She joked that she was going to, but I didn’t really take her seriously,” Josh, 27, tells Australia’s TV WEEK. “I doubted my own ability to be able to put myself out there. But lo and behold, she’d started the application in secret.”

Josh’s wife signed him up for MasterChef.

Born in New York to an Irish mother (who was a cook at a pub) and a Jamaican father, Josh grew up with a love of cooking and, more importantly, diverse flavours. He says that’s the advantage he brings to MasterChef.

“I grew up in Queens, the most diverse area per capita in the world,” Josh explains. “Having immigrant parents in this crockpot of culture gave me a unique experience in terms of the diversity of food I had growing up. Being able to carry that through my own culinary skill is a strength I can play to.”

Competing with 21 other cooks is daunting, but even mystery boxes and the “Keeping Up With Jamie” elimination don’t compare to what Josh calls the biggest challenge of the show: missing Laura and their kids – Hosanna, seven, Kingsley, three, and one-year-old Winslow.

He is a father of three.

“Having to step out on this adventure on my own was a massive undertaking,” Josh says. “My wife has been my biggest support and my kids are my number-one fans. Knowing that my wife was like, ‘I want you to take a shot at your dream. I’m going to hold down the fort here and I’ll support you no matter what’ – that got me through.”

So did household chef Josh fill the freezer with kid-friendly meals before he left for MasterChef?

“That’s exactly what I did,” he laughs.

Just as well!

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