MasterChef Australia’s ‘Dumpling Master’ Derek is charismatic, genuine and engaging
Derek Lau was the clear fan favourite in MasterChef Series 11 (2019). Known for his dumplings and fried chicken it was his knack for pushing boundaries that made the impossible possible, with dishes doughnuts being executed in record time.
Born in Perth to a mother and father from Hong Kong descent, Derek is the youngest of four. He was in the kitchen with his Mum from an early age, where she taught him all the fundamentals that he needed to know. It was there where his love for sweets was born.
Derek graduated with a double Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Commerce and is now a qualified Chartered Accountant and an Investor Relations Analyst. Whilst numbers calculate in his head, his passion for food rings in his heart so he is keen to explore more opportunities in the food space to showcase his creative potential. Passion is at the forefront of Derek's ambitions which more than a career in the financial sector allows.
When the auditions opened in 2018, Derek decided to leap into the unknown. When asked, he says ‘I signed up to push myself'. He wanted to see how much he could learn along the way and find the creative outlet which fulfills his love for food and community.
Derek was confident that it would be his sweets that would set him apart from his fellow contestants however, he quickly gained recognition for his savoury creations. His delicious dumplings have George referring to him ‘undoubtedly the dumpling master'. Matt praised his Korean Fried Chicken as ‘up there as one of the three best I've ever had in Australia'. Derek also made sure to leave a lasting impression from his sweet side with the judges dubbing his chocolate creme brûlée as ‘one of the best they have had in years’.
In addition to Katherine Sabbath, Derek cites Adriano Zumbo, Kate Reid and Gordon Ramsay as his culinary idols proving to him that passion and determination are the icing on the cake when it comes to his culinary dreams.
When he’s not working and experimenting in the kitchen, he enjoys 4WDing, motorbike cruises and supporting his AFL team – the West Coast Eagles.
‘MasterChef’ Series 11 Network Ten 2019
Cherry Harmony Festival Manjimup, UnWined Subiaco, Cockburn Gateway, Karrinyup Shopping Centre