Broome man lives his dream

Broome Advertiser - - Front Page - Jakeb Wad­dell

A Broome so­cial worker has sliced and diced his way into the MasterChef Australia kitchen and plans to pull out all the stops in his quest for culi­nary glory.

Bren­dan Pang moved to the Kim­ber­ley town for a work place­ment two years ago and could never have guessed the im­pact liv­ing in the coun­try would have on his cook­ing.

Al­though work­ing in child pro­tec­tion, his love of food had fol­lowed him since bak­ing and fry­ing with his mother and grand­mother since pri­mary school.

But it was his move to the North West where he truly no­ticed his tal­ent that saw him breeze into the MasterChef top 24.

“I def­i­nitely de­vel­oped my cook­ing in Broome,” Mr Pang said.

“I was liv­ing by my­self, so had friends over and would cook for them nearly every week­end — I would go fish­ing nearly every fort­night and cook it for friends.”

As a “su­per fan” of the Net­work Ten re­al­ity cook­ing com­pe­ti­tion, the 24-year-old said he was ner­vous and starstruck when he first en­tered the kitchen and stood be­fore the judges and for­mer win­ners of the con­test.

“I have al­ways been a mas­sive fan of the show since it started, but cook­ing in the MasterChef kitchen is noth­ing like cook­ing at home,” he said. “You have to think on the spot and there is a lot of pres­sure on you as well, es­pe­cially from the judges. I was so ner­vous — my first time in the kitchen, there was a lot of pres­sure to please my­self and my fam­ily.” Al­though the show pits as­pir­ing chefs against one another, Mr Pang said it was far less com­pet­i­tive than he imag­ined.

He will be fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Tamara Graf­fen, a Broome en­gi­neer, who made it to the fi­nal four in last year’s se­ries.

But Mr Pang said he hoped to make it as far through the show, if not fur­ther. “I def­i­nitely want to have a ca­reer in food be­cause my hap­pi­est place is in the kitchen, so there is a lot on the line in this com­pe­ti­tion,” he said.

Mr Pang hopes to re­lo­cate to Perth to open his own cafe af­ter his time in MasterChef, but said Broome would al­ways have a spe­cial place in his heart.

“I’ve got a lot of strong and mean­ing­ful con­nec­tions in Broome, so I would love to make the town proud,” he said.

As of last Fri­day, Mr Pang was among the 21 con­tes­tants left in the con­test, af­ter blow­ing judges away with his fam­ily-in­spired yum cha in the elim­i­na­tion chal­lenge.

I’ve got a lot of strong and mean­ing­ful con­nec­tions in Broome so I would love to make the town proud. Bren­danPang

Broome's Bren­danPang is a con­tes­tant on this sea­son of re­al­ity cook­ing com­pe­ti­tion MasterChef Australia.

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