Perth's Steven Peh only began cooking a year ago, so his stint on this year's MasterChef Australia is a surprise to him as much as anyone else.
But Peh's culinary achievement on the Ten reality cooking competition is bittersweet as his biggest inspiration, his grandfather Ah Hock, passed away last year and didn't get to see his accomplishments.
Peh, who turns 21 today, said his granddad and his mum Cathrine would always cook for him growing up and last year he decided to learn how to cook as a way to give something back to his family.
"He and my mum - they are my biggest influences on my love of food," Peh told AAA.
"The sad thing was it was only about three months after I started cooking my grandfather passed away.
"But (his passing) ignited something in me to keep going.
"He was born in Malaysia and he didn't have much money growing up. He had to flee the country to get a better life for my dad and my aunty. He always worked hard, even to the day that he passed."
Peh had only just mastered simple food like burgers and bacon and eggs when he applied for MasterChef, so couldn't believe his luck when he was asked to go to Melbourne for an audition before making the top 24.
"I didn't think I was even going to get a call back after my online application. I thought it was a waste of my time filling out the form. Then I got a call back and things just kept on happening," he said.
"The next minute, I am in Melbourne in the top 24."
Despite being eliminated last night, Peh said the experience has changed his life. While he will return to Curtin University to finish his commerce degree next semester, Peh will pursue a career in the food industry and wants to establish pop-up restaurants in Perth.