Celebrity MasterChef will surprise audiences with its fun, emotion, camaraderie and great dishes

CELEBRITY MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA: Standing from L-R Matt Le Nevez, Nick Riewoldt, Rebecca Gibney, judges - Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen - Collette Dinnigan, Ian Thorpe, Chrissie Swan. Seated from L-R - Archie Thompson, Tilly Ramsay, Dilruk Jayasinha, Dami Im.
CELEBRITY MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA: Standing from L-R Matt Le Nevez, Nick Riewoldt, Rebecca Gibney, judges - Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen - Collette Dinnigan, Ian Thorpe, Chrissie Swan. Seated from L-R - Archie Thompson, Tilly Ramsay, Dilruk Jayasinha, Dami Im.

Dilruk Jayasinha wasn't always a comedian or actor. His first profession was as an accountant.

None of which prepared him in any way for his stint on Network 10's Celebrity MasterChef Australia.

Alongside fellow actors Matt Le Nevez and Rebecca Gibney; fashion designer Collette Dinnigan; Olympic great Ian Thorpe; singer Dami Im; radio and TV host Chrissie Swan; football legend Archie Thompsonand AFL star Nick Riewoldt, Jayasinha will don the white chef's apron in an effort to be named Celebrity MasterChef 2021.

Also standing in his way is British TV presenter Tilly Ramsay, daughter of none other than volatile celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

So, was Jayasinha intimidated by any of the celebrities?

"Yeah absolutely," he says.

"I am a huge AFL fan and have watched Nick Riewoldt play multiple times.

Celebrity MasterChef Australia

"I was intimidated by the whole list of them - Tilly Ramsay, an Olympic gold medalist, these are people I didn't think I would ever be encountering in my world. And both Thorpey and Tilly have put out their own cookbooks for heaven's sake."

The humble comedian says the experience was "so much fun".

"All 10 of us still chat to each other in group text messages. We were overjoyed to see the promo for the show. It really captured the the joy we had.

"Of course it was stressful, but in spite of it being a competition we didn't feel like we were against each other, but more against the dishes we did."

Dilruk Jayasinha

Dilruk Jayasinha

In March last year, Jayasinha began to teach himself how to cook.

"For about two years in a row, I hadn't cooked a single meal. The closest thing to cooking was putting kale in my shakes," says the now trim funnyman.

"I was going out for dinner almost every night. I enjoyed annoying people who saw me, because in four and a half months I lost 35 kilos.

"I was very upfront about being on MasterChef. I was posting pictures of my cooking progression from stir fry to spag bol to Korean fried chicken."

He says prior to being in the MasterChef kitchen, he "didn't know an ice cream machine was a thing".

"I could cook steak in my cast iron pan but I didn't know much about ingredients.

"I never trusted flour. It's messy, and dealing with it is much closer to an art than science. When I did one dish that had dough in it, I was a mess afterwards.

"But a learning curve kicks in and now I know I have to whisk the egg, add water, and mix with a ladle, so then the stickiness is not all over my fingers. So if I want to make pasta, it's different to a roti but the basics are the same."

Jayasinha says the Celebrity MasterChef experience felt like a school camp.

"We swapped who we worked next to and genuinely celebrated each other's dishes. When the cameras were off we would go try each other's dishes and we all wanted to give it our best.

"We all have careers outside the kitchen so we didn't have to play for the cameras. The things you see on screen are all sincere and authentic."

And his opinion of judges Jock Zonfrillo, Andy Allen and Melissa Leong?

"Absolute dogshit human beings," he says mockingly.

"I have imposter syndrome. I mean to be in a competition and do something I only started to do a year ago, I was incredibly insecure.

"But luckily for me they were wonderful. The thing I respected about them was they didn't sugar coat it. Their reputation is on the line, and it was nice to be among people who love their work.

"My insecurity was soon replaced with what a privilege and honour it was for them to be trying my food."

And what is his advice to potential MasterChef contestants?

"Probably see if you can sneak in a pizza voucher.

"No, the thing that was best for me - don't be afraid to fail. When you try something new, you find out what works and do better the next time you try it. If it goes well, it's really rewarding."