When Leederville labourer Wade Drummond applied for MasterChef earlier this year, he never imagined breaking into the top 10, let alone jetting off to Italy for a cultural culinary experience.
"It was probably as big a surprise to me as anyone," he told Access All Areas. "I guess it wasn't expected, I kind of hoped I'd make it to the overseas trip but I certainly never expected to make it this far."
As someone who comes from a family where simple food and basic cooking principles apply, the 28-year-old's interest in cooking was sparked at the age of 12. "My family loves food but they're not foodies," he laughed. "It was just something that was more born out of curiosity than anything and it sort of built up from there."
While the chance to soak up the limelight on MasterChef and potentially land a cookbook deal has been a driving force for many of the show's hopefuls, Drummond said he just wanted the opportunity to do what he loves most - cook.
"I didn't enter MasterChef with the ambition of getting on TV and getting a cookbook deal; for me it was sort of finding out whether I wanted to be involved in food," he said.
"At 17, I thought about doing an apprenticeship but was talked out of it. And it's always been sitting at the back of mind . . . I think every year I put it off it just got harder and harder, so I realised that, stuff it, I may as well just throw everything in so I could genuinely enjoy it."
He also revealed that, despite having invested both time and money to get into WA's booming resources industry, he passed up a mining job to audition for the Ten reality show in Melbourne.
"I wanted to start my own little cafe and I thought 'Right, to start one you need money, so what's the best way to make money in WA - go up to the mines'," he explained.
"I tried every avenue I could and ended up getting (help) from a friend of a friend who basically offered me a labouring job. So I started training and then the day I finished I got a call from MasterChef saying we need you in Melbourne."
Since making it into the top 10, Drummond said he was even more determined to fulfil his dream of opening up a cafe in Perth.