- Diana Chan’s background as a CA has helped her turn her MasterChef win into sustainable success.
- After qualifying as a CA, Chan worked as a senior analyst at Deloitte before going on MasterChef Australia in 2017.
- Chan used her accounting knowledge to run pop-up Chanteen and seek partnerships with her winnings.
As told to Sally Rose
I was born in Malaysia and attended the Convent Johor Bahru school. My Mum and Dad are both amazing cooks so, growing up, food was a big joy – but when I first moved out of home I couldn’t cook a thing for myself.
Picture: Convent Johor Bahru school.
At age 17, I moved to Kuala Lumpur to complete my Cambridge A-levels. I ate a lot of great hawker [street] food. My parents really wanted me to have the opportunity to move to Australia, and accounting was a path to that.
Picture: Street food stalls in Kuala Lumpur.
I migrated to Melbourne and completed a commerce degree at Deakin Uni in 2010. It was the first year MasterChef aired. I watched it religiously and joked about entering.
Picture: Deakin University.
After qualifying as a chartered accountant in 2012, I got a job with Deloitte as a senior analyst. I worked there until taking leave to go on MasterChef.
They filmed two alternate endings so I didn’t know if I was the MasterChef winner or runner-up until the finale aired. My background as a CA has helped me so much in making the most of the opportunities that have followed.
“They filmed two alternate endings so I didn’t know if I was the MasterChef winner or runner-up until the finale aired.”
My dream for the A$250,000 prize money was to open a restaurant, but after doing the budgeting and strategic planning I decided it was better to hold off on that. Instead, in 2018 I ran pop-up Chanteen and have pursued a range of partnerships – such as a frozen dumpling line available in Coles and Woolworths.
Personally, one of the best moments since winning MasterChef has been participating alongside chefs I admire in the 2018 OzHarvest CEO CookOff. This year, I’ve been travelling a lot and filming a new television series Asia Unplated that will air on SBS.