“I just can’t believe it,” says a tearful Adam, 31, from Adelaide. “I’m sure I’ve fallen down some stairs and I’ll wake up in a hospital bed and it’s all a dream. It’s extraordinary. I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy!
“Today I did everything I wanted to do and I’m just so happy.”
Tonight’s highly anticipated finale was fought out over three rounds, with the contestant garnering the most points out of 100 declared the winner. In the end, the final score was as close as a toothpick, with Adam on 89 out of 100, and Callum on 82 out of 100.
The title ensures Adam’s dream of ditching a career signing legal documents to one surrounded by food has been realised. He now looks forward to working on his own cookbook, a cash prize of $100,000 to kickstart his food plans plus work experience in some of the world’s most sought after restaurants.
Adam’s prize allows him to work in the kitchens of renowned restaurants Tetsuya’s and Flower Drum, and work alongside chef Neil Perry. He will also spend some time working with MasterChef judge and renowned food critic Matt Preston.
Dedicating his win to his grandma, Kwei-Eng Chew, who was by his side shortly after his win, a tearful Adam says her influence on his cooking was “enormous”.
“She’s been there for me throughout my entire life and she’s been a huge influence not just in my cooking but in everything,” says Adam, who was also joined on set by his girlfriend of two years Asami Fujitsuka, dad Sia-Lin and his partner Tee-Lee. “It’s been like a This Is Your Life moment when the whole family walks through the door. It’s great to be able to share this with them.”
Runner-up 20-year-old Callum Hann, also from Adelaide, doesn’t leave the MasterChef kitchen empty handed, with judge George Calombaris offering him a three month culinary scholarship. Callum will receive a wage and $10,000 to cover living expenses while he works in George’s acclaimed restaurants, including two chef-hatted restaurant The Press Club.
“It’s an incredible offer,” says Callum. “And I’m so happy for Adam. I think he’s so deserving of winning the competition. We will be staying friends for a long time after this.”
Adam was full of praise for Callum, with the two becoming firm mates over the course of filming.
“Callum is one of the most extraordinary blokes I know,” he says. “He learns so quickly, is gifted in most things he does and his potential in any field is unlimited. He will be one of the best chefs in Australia one day.”
Adam acknowledges the support of millions of Australians and is looking forward to sharing his love of food.
“To all the viewers, the biggest thank you in the world,” says Adam. “It’s a great feeling to know that there have been literally millions of people cheering me on. Thank you.”
Besides winning the title of Australia’s next MasterChef, Adam is currently in the initial planning of opening up a small Japanese eatery with some business partners flying in from Japan within the next two weeks to scout locations.
“It’s still in the preliminary stages but I’d love to open a Japanese Izakaya, which is like a pub with a casual restaurant,” says Adam. “We’re not even sure what city it’s going to be in yet but I’m lucky to have some mates who are restaurateurs so we’ll work on it together.”