Hayden is a lover of food, travel, culture and all things to do with the ocean.
Growing up on Sydney’s northern beaches with his family, Hayden was never far from the ocean or from cooking with his mum and family, who served up incredible meals night in and night out. It was hard for him to not fall in love with food, the ocean, good people and of course the healthy lifestyle he loves so much.
Cooking is second nature to Hayden and it was his passion for travel and experiencing new food and cultures that led him to apply for the series 3 of MasterChef Australia followed by being included in MasterChef All Stars. His laid back and friendly nature made him an instant hit with the judges, his fellow contestants and the audience a like but this surfer boy was not to be underestimated. In week one he won the coveted ‘Immunity Pin’ by beating one of chef Alessandro Pavoni from Ormeggio’s top apprentices. In week seven he went on to win another chance at Immunity whilst cooking Korean food for world renowned chef David Chang of Momofuku, who on being presented Hayden’s dish, said with open admiration: "I did not expect this from you… you have a lot of potential that I didn’t see coming."
Whilst at home and not in the kitchen Hayden also found time to explore his other great passion, the ocean. In 2009 he completed a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology at distinction level and has been a Professional Lifeguard for Warringah Council for the past nine years.
This talented young cook has taken his appetite for food abroad on several occasions, searching for great waves to surf, awesome food to cherish and fantastic people with which to share the experience.
Life is about new experiences, and food is the perfect vehicle for that, it can transport you from one place to the next, it can take you around the world and back again, each and every time you share a meal the moment is different – the people, the memories, the locations and the cheeky stories told across the table. Whether it’s downing that dream burger in the bustle of New York City, or lazing back eating a simple Nasi Goreng after a surf in Bali or handing over a good chunk of your savings to be wowed by molecular gastronomy in Spain, the food is only as good as the company you share it with.
Being as energetic and ambitious as Hayden is, means he never sits still. If he’s not cooking, surfing, travelling, writing or standing in front (or behind) a camera, he loves nothing more than to spend time at the beach with his mates, enjoying the beautiful place he calls home.
With a number of exciting projects underway, Hayden has written a two part eBook Series Hayden Cooks Summer and Hayden Cooks with Friends published by Murdoch Books which are now available for purchase on the iBookstore, GooglePlay, Amazon, Kobo plus others for $3.99.
These two eBooks are to be followed by a print copy in 2013 entitled Dish It Up which will be the ideal addition to your cookbook collection to help you create those fresh, vibrant, easy to cook and fun to enjoy meals.
Hayden also exploring filming opportunities and content delivery in a new and original content space which combines his three great loves; food, travel and the ocean. Watch this space!
Hayden is also apart of a brand new Australian wine label; Kooks – The Positively Generous Wine Co (www.kooks.com.au) who devote 50% of profits to creating and funding project which make people feel good, from charitable causes to crazy capers.
Hayden was also the “on beach” commentator for Network Ten’s live coverage of the 2011/12 and 2012/13 Nutrigrain Ironman Series along with being apart of the commentary team for the 2012 City2Surf.
Hayden’s charitable work includes the Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Melanoma Institute Australia.