The TV chef, who competed on season 3, All-Stars and season 12, has gone on to publish two cookbooks, serve as a judge on Family Food Fight, and host a number of his own cooking series since his time in the MasterChef kitchen.
Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, Hayden says the biggest piece of advice he would offer people going on the show is to “be yourself”.
“You see a lot of people go on reality TV and they put on a facade or a persona or try to be someone they're not, and that's really hard to keep up,” he says.
“No one can be that ‘non-person’ for very long, so be yourself, own who you are, be passionate about what you're passionate about, and don’t let the judges or anyone trick you into going down a path that’s not your path.
“Focus on what you're doing, do it to the best of your abilities and work bloody hard.”
Hayden adds that it’s important for contestants to know that “things don’t get handed to you” once you come off the show.
“You've got to make the connections, you got to work hard, and you’ve got to show the initiative,” he details.
Hayden went on to share what he is most thankful to MasterChef for, 12 years after he first appeared on the Channel 10 show.
“The one thing that I'm most thankful for when it comes to MasterChef I think is just this opening of my eyes of something that I truly loved,” he says.
“I may have continued to be a lifeguard or a firefighter or worked in an office and love food and love cooking and done that on the weekend like most people do, but to be able to have opened that world up to be able to turn it into a career and a passion and something that I get to do every day and share with so many people is really special.”
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