“One of my biggest gains from participating in MasterChef Australia was understanding flavour at a deeper level and finding my own style of cooking while still celebrating my beloved Latin – Caribbean flavours”
Based in Melbourne, since 2011, Venezuelan born Keyma Vasquez Montero is best known for her recent appearance in MasterChef Australia 2022, becoming the first Venezuelan contestant to participate in the show and first Latina to reach semifinals week, landing an outstanding 4th place in one of the toughest seasons yet of MasterChef Australia.
Keyma’s participation in the show placed Latin American and Caribbean cuisines and cultures in the spotlight, her passion for cooking and Latino culture led her to become one of the prominent public figures for Latin community representation in the media in Australia.
Throughout the show, Keyma impressed the judges with her wide knowledge of Latin and Caribbean flavours and techniques, featuring 9 top recipes and winning the most immunity challenges of the season.
Since leaving MasterChef Australia, Keyma has spent her time developing her cooking skills, creating recipes to share her heritage, and collaborating with brands and local restaurants to share her knowledge in the field through restaurant pop ups and Private Experiences.
She believes in the strengthening of the Latin movement and representation in Australia, by educating the audience through food.
Professional Career & Personal Life
Keyma has wore many hats during her life and she believes all of her experiences have led her to where she is now, noting her love for performing arts, she’s always been in the spotlight from a very early age, back at home she was part of the school choir, participated in Drama classes for 2 years, played Piano, and danced as a classical ballet dancer for 6 years, trained in Flamenco and Folklore dances, and was a Performer in the Venezuelan cultural group Caribay Dance in Australia for 4 years, she still dances as a hobby and part of her wellbeing routine.
Keyma graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor in Industrial Engineering and has a Strategic Management Diploma, as well as experience as an Entrepreneur, Digital Systems and Customer Journey. She’s previously launched two online businesses of her own and has helped a number of businesses and individuals reach their goals. Although she is not pursuing a career in engineering anymore, she believes the skills gained often help her with her organisation and management skills within the kitchen.
Cooking has always been her passion; considering herself an intuitive cook, often using her senses, memories and experiences to iterate in the kitchen, she’s taken numerous cooking courses including Vegetarian, Italian, Thai cuisines, and she continues developing her skills and career by constantly researching and attending relevant training. Keyma currently works as a Content Creator, Private Chef, and Guest Chef for special events.
Keyma lives with her husband, her two beautiful children and her greyhound, in her spare time she loves walks in nature, dancing, playing board games, and anything that sparks her creativity like art and craft, Keyma advocates for working / returning to work mums , having a healthy work-life balance while managing a successful and fulfilling career.