Aldo Ortado

Growing up in the Italian province of Bacoli, Aldo says sharing food was the key to his childhood. Each day his nonna would ask him what he wanted for lunch and dinner and he recalls always asking for pasta with cannellini beans and fresh mussels. He did not grow up with fancy food, it was all about fresh ingredients and comfort dining. It is that skill set mentored by his beloved nonna, which puts him in line for the MasterChef Australia 2018 season 10 title.

Aldo was raised with an older and younger sister and admits he had a wonderful childhood, spoiled by his extended family. He was a competitive swimmer, representing his village at swimming meets across Italy.

After leaving school in 2009, Aldo moved to Rome to study statistics and four years later, he headed down under to Sydney, seeking new adventures.

He started working for an event and catering business as a food attendant on the floor, before taking on a restaurant manager role with a local Italian restaurant, Giro Osteria.

In early 2014, Aldo met Mark and the pair became engaged two years ago. He says he is looking forward to planning their wedding and hopes his fellow MasterChef Australia contestants will help cater the big event.

When the MasterChef Australia journey comes to an end, Aldo hopes to open his own café and restaurant, focusing on classic southern Italian food with a relaxed feel during the day, which transforms into a fine dining experience at night. He says he wants the feel to reflect that of his childhood – a place where from the time you step inside, you just feel like you have arrived home.