Contestant Matthew Hopcraft, guest chef Marco Pierre White and judge George Calombaris.
Contestant Matthew Hopcraft, guest chef Marco Pierre White and judge George Calombaris.

Hopcraft wants to expand on 'being that dad that cooks'

FAMILY man Matthew Hopcraft has combined forces with some familiar faces from the MasterChef house to host a number of pop-up events since leaving the show.

"Jamie [Ward], Anna [Webster] and I are working together on the project - we've had some successful nights and we're looking to see how we can pursue that and push it a little bit more," Matthew told APN.

"We all got on really well in the house and we're like-minded with our food approach so that's been going really well... people have also been asking us about catering and various things like that too."

Aside from the collaborative project the 43-year-old, who was eliminated on tonight's episode is also exploring ways to expand his role as "being that dad that cooks" into doing a website or cookbook aimed at encouraging people to cook at home with their family.

"The whole angle of feeding the family - it's what I've done for the last 20 years. I do most of the cooking at home and it's something that I really love and it's such a fun, important thing to do and I want to see what I can do about sharing that with people."

Family was also a key theme in the emotional elimination challenge that saw Matthew head home.

Guest chef Marco Pierre White asked contestants to reconnect with their childhood and serve up a plate of food that evoked their most heartfelt memories from childhood.


MasterChef Australia contestant Matthew Hopcraft. MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 29TH 2014;Contestants on Masterchef Series 7 pose for portraits on Saturday the 29th November 2014 at the Masterchef Kitchen Studios in Melbourne Australia. (Photo by Martin Philbey) *** Local Caption ***Masterchef Contestants Portraits
MasterChef Australia contestant Matthew Hopcraft Martin Philbey


"It was kind of a tough one for me to go back to childhood memories - my childhood was a long time ago... so I sort of adapted it a little bit to focus on something that had meaning within my family."

With 90 minutes on the clock Matthew chose to make lasagne; something his mother had taught him to make as well as being the first dish he cooked for his wife and a popular meal with his children.

"By then the competition had been going so long and being away from home for such a long time had been pretty tough and then having a cook that was so focused on family... and knowing that it could be my last... it was a fairly emotional cook."

"I was pretty happy with the dish once I'd finished it; there was a part of me that was happy with the dish and there was a part of me that knew deep down that it probably wasn't going to be quite enough to get me through."

Matthew's departure leaves just five contestants in the running - Georgia Barnes, Billie McKay, Jessica Arnott, Sara Oteri and Reynold Poernomo - and he tipped Reynold to be the last man standing.

"He's my hot tip to win. The other person in the final would be Billie I think."

MasterChef Australia airs Sundays through Thursdays at 8.30pm on Channel 10.