Company director (NSW)
HOME TOWN: SYDNEY, NSW
MARITAL STATUS: MARRIED
COOKING STYLE: FAMILY FRIENDLY
While some of the MasterChef Australia contestants find having their meals critiqued by the judges daunting, Dominic faces his toughest crit- ics every meal time. The father-of-four regularly cooks dinner for his family – and the kids don’t hold back telling him what they do and don’t like to eat. “It’s challenging to find a repertoire of surefire dishes that the whole family like so I don’t have to cook separate meals every dinner,” says Dominic, who lives in Sydney with his wife Kate and their children Madeleine, 16, Nicholas, 14, Benjamin, 11 and Matthew, nine. “I love Asian foods and spices, but not all my kids agree with me, so sometimes I find myself doing hot versions and then a calm version of the dish. And my daughter is on to me about presentation of dishes too.”
Growing up with four older sisters, Dominic was inspired by his parents when it came to cooking. “Food to me is symbolic of family,” says Dominic, who dreams of running a restaurant one day. “I have great memo- ries of my family sitting around the table eating, and my mum loved to have a lot of dinner parties. I used to love hanging around the kitchen watching her cook. “Dad influenced me too. He was a sports doctor and travelled a lot for work, so was culturally aware and he wanted us kids to try as many different foods as we could. Mind you, in those days, having a Chinese meal or trying some- thing like garlic prawns was a big deal!”
Although his parents instilled a love of cooking in him, it wasn’t until mid 2008 when he was made redundant from his executive position that Dominic truly got to indulge his passion. “I wasn’t the main cook before I was made redundant, but I finally had the time,” explains Dominic, who has also helped to set up a charity called Fighting Chance which supports families with disabled children. “I’ve always loved watching cooking shows and I’ve been privileged to have eaten in some amazing restaurants, so to be able to spend time in the kitchen was fantastic.” His family is certainly reaping the benefits of his culinary skills. “I cook a lot of stir-fries and big dishes like curries, Irish stew and lamb shanks that I can cook in a large amount to feed six of us,” he says. “My cooking style is often driven by my requirements to feed a big family. I have two kids who are adventurous with spice and heat, and there’s my wife and two who aren’t too keen on spicy food.” His family is very supportive of his dream, and can’t wait to see him on their favourite show.