Scott Bagnell from Masterchef is ready to cook up a feast for PrideFEST

Queenslander Scott Bagnell leapt into Australian lounge rooms when he appeared on the 2021 edition of the popular TV show MasterChef.

The interior designer with a passion for baking cakes and delivering mouth-watering main courses made his mark on the series. As one of twenty-four contestants he survived all the way to the show’s Top 10 and was eliminated in the ninth spot.

After the series ended, he returned to his interior design business, but has continued on with an additional career as a professional foodie. Soon he’ll be appearing at Perth’s PrideFEST where he’s going to be providing a cooking demonstration and making a superb meal too.

OUTinPerth chatted to Scott Bagnell ahead of his visit.

When you sign up and appear on MasterChef, how does that change your life?

Oh my gosh, that’s a big question. It does change your life, and it sort of makes you realise that your passion can be something more.

I’ve been a huge fan of MasterChef since its very first season and I’m a big foodie and food-nerd. I’ve watched the show, and you audition just thinking what a great experience the day will be, and but you don’t think you’re going to get in. Then all of a sudden, you get through the auditioning process, which is quite arduous, and then you get closer and closer, and then all of a sudden, you’ve got a million cameras on you.

What does it feel like to stand in that very iconic room for the first time? 

Very overwhelming, I think the gravity of the situation dawned upon me up to that point. You don’t really think about it, because you’re going through the process, and then they sort of throw you into the filming set, Day 1, and you get your first challenge. You’re like, “What have I done?”

It was very surreal You just pinch yourself thinking that you’ll get to wake up from this dream.

Do you find people recognise you on the street now?

I do get people, but people are very polite in Australia. I find that I get a lot of like pointing people, you know, doing a double take, but not many people want to come up and talk to me. People are too polite.

You’re coming across to Perth PrideFEST, which has been huge this year, and you’ll be cooking a meal for everybody.

I am super excited about this.  I’ll be cooking a really yummy menu and hope to meet some fans and family, food nerds.

I was looking at the menu of what you’ll be making. You have barramundi with fox sauce, so I immediately wondered if it was made from actual fox, and then I pondered, what does a fox taste like?

Oh my goodness, I did this Danish dill and mustard sauce, the translation for the traditional name literally translates to fox, and it was a dish that I actually made for one of my food idols, Josh Niland, when he was on the show.

I’m a massive fan of Josh Niland and we had a fish challenge with him, and I made this dish with the fox sauce, and it is amazing; dill and mustard and lemon and super zesty and bright green is just beautiful, and he absolutely loved it. So, when I was thinking about the menu for PrideFEST, I thought “I think I need to make that.”

Fish dishes are generally where people get into trouble on MasterChef.

This is also a realisation I’ve had this week about the plan, because I was also eliminated on a fish dish on MasterChef. So, I’m wondering whether I’ve cursed myself?

That dish that you go out on, do you go home and cook over and over again, or do you never ever make it again?

You never make it again. You never want to see that dish – ever!

What did you learn on the program that you didn’t know before?

So many things, it’s a pressure cooker of an environment. So not only do you learn so much from all the other MasterChef contestants and the challenges and purely just research; it’s literally like being at university again, it felt like that, you’re adding recipes and techniques, so you come away from it a lot more knowledgeable in terms of a range of different cooking styles.

But I think for me, probably the biggest thing that I learned is how resilient I am, or how I survived the process, because it’s pretty intense. That that was a pretty amazing achievement, making it as far as I did through that process.

What else keeps you busy these days? What have you been up to?

Lots of different things. I am traditionally an interior designer, I’ve been working as an interior designer for 22 years, so I’ve got my own interior design business. But slowly more food stuff is coming into the mix, which is nice.

So, doing some catering and private cheffing. Lots of things like the Perth PrideFEST, it’s amazing to get out there and just talk to people that like food as much as I do. It’s a balancing act, lots of juggling both passions. I don’t want to give either up.

Scott Bagnell will be in Perth PrideFEST where he’ll be presenting a cooking demonstration and dinner at the new Pride Piazza in Northbridge. Tickets to the November 21 event are on sale now.

This is just one of a series of food events that make up the PrideFEST, head to the Pride WA site to find out more about the Demo and Dinner Series, alongside Scott Bagnell there are events featuring Courtney Roulston and Elise Pulbrook.

Graeme Watson


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