Steph de Sousa - Celebrity Chefs - From ‘MasterChef’ Star to Culinary Ins ...

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Celebrity Chefs

Steph de Sousa

From ‘MasterChef’ Star to Culinary Inspiration

Steph de Sousa’s journey through the culinary world began with a passion that blossomed into a professional career, culminating in her memorable appearance on ‘MasterChef’ Series 11 in 2019. Born in Tasmania, Steph quickly found herself immersed in diverse culinary influences as her family relocated to Queensland.

Following high school, where Steph humorously recalls attending “to eat lunch”, she ventured into hairdressing while starting on her own family. Her path led her to Vanuatu, where she lived on an island resort, working as a hair and makeup artist for weddings. It was here, surrounded by the fresh, vibrant ingredients of local markets, that Steph discovered her lobe for scratch cooking, embracing organic principles long before they became fashionable.

Returning to Queensland, Steph expanded her family and culinary skills. Her cooking philosophy centers around creating wholesome, flavourful dishes that evoke the warmth of home-cooked meals shared with loved ones, a sentiment she plans to bring to the life in her dream of establishing a place that resembles “going to Mum’s for dinner”. Alongside this vision, Steph aims to impart her love for cooking through classes and demonstrations, inspiring others to embrace the joy of creating delicious meals from basic pantry staples to fresh local produce.

Steph’s culinary prowess and ability to think creatively under pressure earned her the affectionate nickname of ‘MacGyver’ from judge Matt Preston during her ‘MasterChef’ stint, where she wowed audiences and judges alike with dishes like her acclaimed beef vindaloo. Her dedication to both sweet and savoury cuisines, preferring intuitive cooking over strict measurements, reflects her deep-rooted passion for the culinary arts.

In 2024, Steph achieved another milestone with the publication of her first cookbook, ‘Air Fryer Queen’, aiming to empower others with accessible recipes that showcase her innovative approach to cooking. Inspired by culinary icons such as Maggie Beer, Rick Stein, and Peter Kuruvita, as well as Stephanie Alexander, Steph continues to evolve her craft, blending influences from her diverse journey into a culinary style that is as nurturing as it is delicious.

Beyond the kitchen, Steph finds balance through daily yoga, embodying the mantra she adopted from swimming legend Kieran Perkins: “find what you love, and do it eight hours a day”. With her infectious warmth and culinary creativity, Steph de Sousa continues to inspire others to discover the joy and connection that food can bring.

Enquire about Steph de Sousa to speak at your next event