From Kindergarten teaching to 2021 MasterChef favourite, Tommy Pham is a lover of exotic foods who has brought that passion to the MasterChef kitchen creating recipes that take you on an imaginative journey inspired by his childhood. Raised by his Vietnamese mum, Tommy’s childhood is what has most inspired his cooking and on the show, Tommy made a mark for himself by creating hearty, comforting food for the judges.
Largely self-taught, though his mum shared many recipes for Vietnamese basics. While living and working in Japan, Tommy fell deeper in love with cooking and when he missed home, he would turn to his mum’s classic dishes. For Tommy, food offers an indelible connection to his family and heritage.
Finishing in the top 7, Tommy’s time in the kitchen saw him cooking from the heart and speaking about how his family and baby son were constant motivators for him to strive for greatness each and every time he stepped behind a bench.
Tommy gets a kick out of seeing faces light up after eating something he has created and enjoys introducing people to out-of-the-ordinary dishes. He believes food is a fascinating pathway into exploring different cultures and cites Adam Liaw, Luke Nguyen and Anthony Bourdain among his key influences.
With strengths in balancing unique flavours and knowledge of unusual ingredients, Tommy loves to combine his two passions of travelling and cooking to one day follow in the footsteps of his food heroes. He dreams of travelling abroad, documenting different food cultures and sharing them with the world.