Top Shows

MasterChef New Zealand


Canapes crush MasterChef NZ's latest eliminee

It's one down, 13 to go as the latest MasterChef New Zealand contestant leaves the competition.


Ben Munro, a construction worker from Russell failed to meet the mark when it came to making canapes for 130 guests at the Navy's 70th birthday. Judge Josh Emett felt his refusal to address issues while cooking in the galley made him the weakest candidate in the kitchen.

We caught up with Ben as he readied himself to head home from MasterChef.

1) How have you found the whole MasterChef experience? 
I love to cook and learn new things, but the cameras and judges breathing down my neck was all a bit too surreal for me. On the other hand, I've met some great people and learnt a bit about working under pressure, so that is cool.

2) How did it feel when the judges gave you that initial apron and then a chance to be part of the final 16?
I was just glad to be able to cook for the judges at that stage, so to get the apron and go through to the house just blew me away, so much so that I couldn't really get my head in the right space after that. I just couldn't believe I had made it that far.

3) How did you feel when you were told to leave the MasterChef kitchen?
By the time I left the MasterChef kitchen, I was ready to go home. I had my son's first birthday coming up and we were in the middle of opening Matauwhi Bay Manor back at home. So I felt relieved in a way.

4) How have your friends and family reacted?
They all think it is hilarious and give me digs about it, but like me they think it was great I got as far as I did.

5) What's the dish you created that you're most proud of?
I suppose it would have to be my venison dish that got me on the show as it was the only dish that was truly my creation, planned out by me without any restrictions on number of ingredients etc.

6) What have you learned most from the experience?
I've learned a lot about the TV business. But I guess the main thing I've taken away is how to work under pressure. 

7) Who will you miss seeing most? Why?
I'm going to miss Ando and Brenton the most. I really clicked with those guys, we're on the same page. We will remain friends for a long time.

8) What's your biggest regret about not getting further in the competition than you did?
My biggest regret about not going further is that I didn't get to showcase how well I can cook. I didn't do anything special while in the MasterChef kitchen, I played it pretty safe but I know I can do better. I've had positive feed back from cooking for guests at the Manor. I also wish I could have been there for a few MasterClasses.

9) What would you have changed about the challenge which led to your eviction?
I don't believe I did anything wrong with my part of the challenge. I finished what I had to do and then helped the rest of the team. Because of this, I messed up part of Zee's dish. That is the only thing I would change. I didn't listen to his instructions properly.

10) Fill in the gap: the kitchen utensil I look like the most is...
A garbage disposal - I leave nothing behind.

11) What's next for you?
We are currently very busy at Matauwhi Bay Manor. We have guest bookings for the next few months and have secured a couple of weddings for next year. One very special one ... personally, I have already completed a certificate three in commercial cooking and plan to continue studies in the hospitality industry. The best way to learn is hands on and I'm doing plenty of that at the moment.

Take a look at Ben's MasterChef New Zealand audition dish here.

Join the MasterChef New Zealand Facebook community here - and share your thoughts, recipes and opinions on the show!