Date posted: 19/12/2019 5 min read

Meet the former CA turned MasterChef winner

MasterChef Australia brought Diana Chan fame, and her background as a CA helped her turn that exposure into lasting success.

In Brief

  • 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.

Convent Johor Bahru schoolPicture: 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.

Kuala LumpurPicture: 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.

Deakin UniversityPicture: 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.

Diana Chan, MasterChef Australia

“They filmed two alternate endings so I didn’t know if I was the MasterChef winner or runner-up until the finale aired.”
Diana Chan


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.

Diana Chan at Chanteen


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.

Diana Chan CA