Declan Cleary – MasterChef Australia 2023 Bronze Runner Up, Brand Ambassador, Builder, Chef, Content Creator, Social Influencer, Speaker
“Declan’s my name and fish is my game.” It’s an irreverent icebreaker delivered with a lovable cheeky grin that captures the cheerful persona perfectly of MasterChef Australia 2023’s bronze runner-up: Declan Cleary. Having spent the entirety of his life along Sydney’s sun-blessed stretch of coastal shores, Declan’s a distillation of seaside experiences, significant life moments, and special memories. And while he may be considered a cosmopolitan chap, at heart Declan’s an avid angler, amateur golfer, business owner, passionate foodie, open-sea swimmer, and seafood aficionado, who loves nothing more than sharing it all with his close-knit family and true-blue friends. Declan’s food journey was built on observation in the early days; watching mum and nan cook in the family kitchen through to observing professional chefs, ultimately gaining some on-the-job experience through part-time hospitality work during his teens. Describing himself as an unconventional cook, these days Declan draws flavour inspiration from his globe-trekking travels to exotic places including Malaysia, Thailand, Mexico, and Papua New Guinea where he walked the Kokoda Track.
As the youngest contestant on the 2023 season of Channel 10’s smash hit cookery competition MasterChef Australia, Declan has certainly crammed a lot of life into his 25 years. As a qualified chippie (industry slang for big cheese carpenter), not to mention building business owner (at age 22 no less!), Declan’s more than familiar with conquering the hard yards and making personal sacrifices. From building sites through to kitchen delights, Declan’s culinary journey follows the similar self-taught footsteps of some of the world’s autodidactic greats: Ferran Adrià, Heston Blumenthal, Tom Colicchio, Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, and Gordon Ramsay. However, he shared the most affinity with MasterChef Australia judge Andy Allen. Like Declan, Andy too was a tradie who, in 2012, dropped everything to pursue his passion for cooking. “It definitely made it easier walking into the MasterChef kitchen every day,” he confesses. “Knowing that Andy could do it, so could I.” What ultimately became one of the show’s toughest seasons for fans, with the shocking loss of much-loved judge and chef Jock Zonfrillo, Declan earned himself the status of fan favourite early in the comp. Mediaweek even declared him the industry’s favourite too! Serving up several dishes the judges crowned legendary as well as out-cooking Michelin-trained Spanish chef Sergio Perera to win immunity, Declan’s meteoric rise through the ranks has him in high market demand. And as he continues to build his culinary crafts, his dream is to open a seafood restaurant, and who knows, maybe build it too! Having successfully worked with popular brands including Lee Kum Kee Asian sauces, Gozney pizza ovens, and Makita power tools, Declan is available for branding and promotional partnerships, content creation and cooking demonstrations, social influencing, and speaking engagements (construction, cooking, mental health advocacy, motivational), so contact The Lime Agency today.