From a software developer to a 2023 MasterChef favourite, Antonio Cruz Vaamonde brought his problem-solving skills and love of food to the MasterChef kitchen, creating innovative recipes informed by his Venezuelan heritage. Antonio attributes his techniques to his mother and his beloved Mamucha, who Antonio would watch cook as he grew up. It was through these wholesome experiences that Antonio absorbed the recipes, tips and tricks, and passion for food that's run through his family for generations.
Antonio moved to Sydney in 2015, regularly video calling his family back home to show off his latest creations. Antonio's Mamucha sadly passed during the pandemic, fuelling his desire to do what he'd spoken about with her time and time again; apply for MasterChef.
Fulfilling his promise to Mamucha in 2023, Antonio won the hearts of Australians in season 15 of the show. Enticing the judges with his creative dishes, his bubbly personality shines through behind the bench.
Antonio's favourite dishes to cook are South American BBQ and grill, French pastries, Italian pastas and Asian signatures; a diverse mix of recipes that aligns with his creative and technical skillset. He cites Andy Hearnden and Gordon Ramsay among his favourite chefs, and desires to create a space to share his creations with others.