Walleed knew leaving behind twin 5-year-old daughters Evy and Alexandria wasn’t going be easy, but bringing home the title of MasterChef 2019 helped soften his absence.
Born and raised in Melbourne to Egyptian parents, Walleed is the middle of three children and studied Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at Monash University, graduating in 2001.
Alongside his supportive family, Walleed has two great passions – food and basketball.
He started playing at the age of six, motivated by the cult classic movie Teen Wolf starring Michael J. Fox. He became serious about the sport as a teenager, playing for a local representative team and at his peak captaining the North Sydney Bears in his 20s.
Walleed attributes his skills of composure, patience and hard work to the sport, and knew these would translate well in the MasterChef kitchen, particularly when working alongside his fellow contestants in team challenges.
Inspired in the kitchen by culinary great Rick Stein, Walleed has been cooking since the age of eight, and says with his Egyptian family food was the centrepiece of every family get-together. He still remembers the praise he received as a six-year-old when he first made tea and coffee for his family, and he still lives for that excited feedback today.
When his MasterChef journey ended, he decided to follow his dreams and opened a fusion dessert bar, celebrating both Middle Eastern and Western sweet treats. It’s a move he’s already on track with, selling homemade baklava with flavours including Nutella and Tim Tam at local markets.« Back to Talent