Masterchef’s Khanh Ong‘s journey on Masterchef this year had us in our feels from start to finish. The Indonesian born chef shared many stories this year about his childhood, including growing up in an immigration camp and hiding his sexuality for half of his life.
Chef born in refugee camp breaks down in tears on MasterChef over family photo
This year on Masterchef, the lives of it’s superstar chefs were put on full display, with many speaking out on emotional stories of their own. One chef that took the hearts of millions earlier this year was Khanh Ong.
During a segment of the latest season, Ong was surprised when given a childhood family photo in a wooden box.
“It’s my mom and my dad and myself. It’s the day we came to Australia. I was born in a refugee camp and that’s after we got approved to migrate,” he said when viewing the photo.
Khanh spent two years in an Indonesian refugee camp before migrating to Australia. Soon after the chef’s father died after losing his battle to cancer, which Ong spoke in detail about in his book, A Gay Guy’s Guide to Life, Love, Food.
Ong’s childhood struggles are not the only emotional part of his life that he speaks on. Speaking to TV Week magazine in 2018, the TV personality opened up on his struggles about being gay.
“Being gay in our culture isn’t really a thing, so that was hard for me,” he admitted. “It’s hard enough growing up gay, but then there’s this whole refugee element. No-one grows up choosing to be an outcast or picked on – it just happens.”
Throughout the competition, Ong was seen wearing t-shirts labeled ‘you are loved’. The product, created by the chef, donates a small fee from each sale to LGBTQ+ youth charity, Minus18. On the official website, Minus18 states that they are “leading change, building social inclusion, and advocating for an Australia where all young people are safe, empowered, and surrounded by people that support them.”
Click HERE to buy your own ‘you are loved’ embroidered Unisex tee!