“I like to experiment with food and that’s what my dad liked to do – see what’s in the fridge and try out new things,” he says. “In a short period of time I started cooking all the time and I really enjoyed it, and then about a year and a half ago I got a job as a kitchen hand in a restaurant in the Barossa Valley. Being in a kitchen environment seeing what the chefs do really started me thinking that this is maybe a job that I want.”
Long hours slaving away near hot ovens and stoves were an eye-opener for the student but far from being deterred it simply fuelled his passion and made him more determined to follow his culinary dream. On a regular visit to the MasterChef website he noticed you could register to compete in Series 2 of the hit show and so without so much as a second thought he registered with 7000 other hopefuls.
“I don’t think the judges looked at me and thought this is the winner of MasterChef,” he confessed. “I think they saw me as an unmoulded block of clay that they could hopefully sculpt into a good chef.”
And sculpt they did, from 7000 to 2, Callum proved that being young and having less experience doesn’t have to hold you back, time and time again throughout the 13 week competition he delivered up dishes to the Judges that left them speechless with admiration. His ability to learn, flair for sweets and of course his boyish charm made him a favourite to win the 2010 competition.
Coming second was by no means a loss for the 20 year old, he was invited by Judge and top chef George Columbaris to complete a three month apprenticeship at his group of restaurants, including world renowned The Press Club, which he started in October 2010. He is travelling around Australia attending personal appearances, has released a cookbook “The Starter Kitchen” and is currently perusing television opportunities.