MasterChef Australia Judge for 2018
Gary was born and grew up on the South Coast of England, where his father was an engineer, his mother an artist and his grandfather a chef and teacher. He attended Highbury College of Technology, where he studied to be a chef, before leaving for London to take up his first full-time position.Gary nominates the two Michelin-starred restaurants that were most formative in his early career as The Connaught Hotel under Michel Bourdan, where he worked for four years, and Le Souffle at The Hyde Park Intercontinental under Peter Kromberg. They were at the time two hugely influential chefs in Britain with two opposing styles and ideas: one a bastion of French haute cuisine and the other modern, creative and progressive.
In 1991 Gary moved to Australia in 1991, working at Burnham Beeches, Browns Restaurant and Sofitel Melbourne, before venturing into business at the age of 31. He then started Fenix Restaurant & Events, which gained a hat in its first year and which Gary owned for 14 years. Gary sold his interest in the Maribyrnong Boathouse earlier in 2017.
Before MasterChef Australia, Gary was teaching Australians to cook on television programs including Boys Weekend and Good Chef, Bad Chef. His food and travel series, Far Flung With Gary Mehigan, saw him travelling through India, Vietnam, Laos, South Korea and Hong Kong as the ultimate food tourist. More recently, Gary was in Delhi and Mumbai to film an 11-part series called Masters Of Taste featuring some of India’s best chefs and foodies.
Gary has written four best-selling cook books including Gary Mehigan’s Comfort Food and Gary Mehigan's Favourites, plus Your Place Or Mine and Cook With Us with fellow MasterChef Australia judge George Calombaris.
Gary’s wealth of experience and wisdom is invaluable to MasterChef Australia contestants and his considered questioning at the kitchen benches often puts them “through the ringer”. In season 10, Gary is back to encourage and inspire the contestants to be the best they can be and show them first-hand his wealth of cooking experience.
Got a burning question about MasterChef? Get the answers to the most frequently asked questions