Consultant Darrsh Clarke makes MasterChef Australia top ten

11 June 2024 3 min. read
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Management consultant Darrsh Clarke has made the top ten of this year’s MasterChef Australia, but he’s not the only contestant over the years versed in both Powerpoints and a pestle & mortar.

Darrsh Clarke, a business and design consultant with IBM Consulting in Perth for the past five years, said of making the cut; “It was all about keeping a level head and taking it a day at a time. I knew if I did that, I’d be able to go deep.”

In a note on LinkedIn, Clarke said he was pumped for the final round of MasterChef, and thanked his employer IBM Consulting for “having been so incredibly supportive” throughout the process.

Consultant Darrsh Clarke makes MasterChef Australia top ten

Photo: 10play, MasterChef Australia

MasterChefs from consulting

Yet, he’s not the only contestant who has brought a background in accounting and consulting to the MasterChef bench-tops since the show first aired in Australian in 2009, before then going on to become a global cultural sensation.

Most notable among them is Diana Chan, who was working as a senior analyst in Deloitte financial advisory wing when she won the competition in 2017. She has since gone on to run a pop-up restaurant, host her own show on the SBS, and launch a tasty range of ready-to-cook dumplings under the Golden Wok brand which quickly became a category top-seller.

Another top-ten finalist, way back in the second series, was Jonathan Daddia, who was eliminated after messing up a spice-roasted squab pigeon challenge and so put his UTS business masters to good use and joined Booz & Co., later becoming a director at Strategy&. Since 2021, he has been a principal director at Accenture, serving clients in the areas of strategic growth and digital transformation.

Probably the most senior consultant to have put on the apron was Sandeep Pandit, who was Cognizant A/NZ head of delivery excellence when he appeared on the show in 2019, falling just short of the top ten despite being lauded for his exceptional curries. Now a road safety program manager with the Victorian transport & planning department, Pandit parlayed his experience by releasing his own range of spices.

A qualified solicitor, Sarah Tiong was employed as a risk consultant at PwC when she finished sixth behind Diana Chan in 2017, before then coming back as a fan favourite in the MasterChef: Back to Win edition in 2020. She now contracts with Allens, but has also teamed up with fellow contestant Rashedul Hasan, previously head of ICT delivery services at Ericsson, on Surry Hills restaurant OGNI.

While slightly off topic, many Masterchef viewers might also be familiar with Laura Foo, who last year followed in Diana Chan’s footsteps by winning series 7 of the Great Australian Bake Off while working at Deloitte Digital, where she currently serves as a strategy & transformation manager after first getting a taste at the firm as an intern back in 2017.