MasterChef's Diana Chan admits she was 'broke' when she won the show

EXCLUSIVE: Diana Chan reflects on her enormous success since appearing on the reality show.

After hosting a string of TV shows, working all around the world, and launching a multimillion-dollar supermarket dumpling range, it’s fair to say that Diana Chan is one of the most successful contestants to come from MasterChef.

The season nine winner’s collaboration with family-owned business Golden Wok has been hugely successful since it launched five years ago, becoming Australia’s number one selling small packet-sized dumplings.

Diana Chan in the kitchen / Diana winning MasterChef.
Diana Chan has opened up about her enormous success since winning MasterChef in 2017. Photos: Facebook / Channel 10

The product sold a whopping 21 million pieces in Woolworths and Coles in 2020 alone, which equals $10 million in gross sales, according to

These stats are even more surprising when Diana tells Yahoo Lifestyle she was “quite broke” when she appeared on MasterChef in 2017.


The Malaysian-born chef was an accountant before winning the cooking competition and reveals she had to go back to her finance job immediately after filming the show for seven months.

“You're not working so you're not getting paid,” she explains. “I took sabbatical leave. I think I was 29 then and you're only living off your savings, so you have a lot of bills to pay.

“We finished [filming] at the end of May, and then the announcement was at the end of July. So you have that three-month period where I just needed to earn money.”

'One of my proudest achievements'

Once it was announced that she had beat runner-up Ben Ungermann in the season finale, Diana says her life changed overnight.

“Everything started coming in and it was really really busy and I really couldn't focus on doing my nine-to-five job,” she details. “A lot of it was media, a lot of it was guest appearances, whether it was a talk, whether it was a cooking demo, creating menus.

“Because the show is so big overseas, I got a lot of inquiries overseas. And because I'm Malaysian, I actually got a lot of inquiries to go back to Malaysia and Singapore to do a lot of gigs there. So it was quite hectic and quite mental the six months after finishing.”

Diana went on to work with various tourism boards in Asia, run a pop-up restaurant named Chanteen for eight months, host her own cooking programme on SBS Food called Asia Unplated, and, of course, launch her own range of dumplings.

“That timing was perfect,” she says. “A lot of people were like, ‘We want to taste your food’ but I couldn't obviously have an event big enough to have everyone come down and taste my cooking. So having a dumpling range was good timing for me.

“It was really daunting at the start because you're putting your product out there and you don't know how it's going to be perceived, but six years on it's become a staple in a lot of people's households. So that makes me very happy, and that's probably one of my proudest achievements.”

Diana Chan holding her range of frozen dumplings.
Diana calls her dumpling collaboration with Golden Wok one of her ‘proudest achievements’. Photo: Facebook/Asia Unplated

Future plans

Speaking about what she wants to achieve next, Diana reveals she is getting ready to launch her dumpling range in Asia.

“I get a lot of people overseas asking me if they can have the dumplings, and while the dumplings are widely stocked and available in all supermarkets across Australia, it's not sold overseas,” she says.


“So the company has built a factory in Indonesia and we're going to start supplying to Asia. So then we'll start opening up and creating a different range and pop that into the local supermarkets.

“I mean, Asia is huge, that's going to be a massive project which we are working on together. I’m working with them to create new lines, a new range, and just to test the market. It’s a new market so we’ve got to see what works and what will sell and what people want. Dumplings might not be it, it might be bao, it could be anything. So we’re testing the market, it’s in the process of happening at the moment.”

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