The Rebel Masterchef Champion, William Gozali

What are your first impressions when you see this dude: Stylish? Bad-boy? Nerdy?
William Gozali, the crowned winner of Masterchef Indonesia Season 3
Location: Yesterday Lounge
Outfit: personal collection
The first 2 are probably applicable in some cases, but nerdy is definitely not him. He is William Gozali, the crowned winner of Masterchef Indonesia Season 3, the youngest champion in the history of the local version of the reality show.

William Gozali, born 23 years ago in Jakarta, is the tattooed chef who takes photos and shares them regularly on his Instagram feed @willgoz. One glance at his gallery and people can tell that this guy has keen eyes for photography. His Instagram feed is certainly out of ordinary, beautiful and thought-provoking. Despite the minimum captions or texts, each frames could convey a powerful message worth more than a thousand words.

William Gozali, the crowned winner of Masterchef Indonesia Season 3
Photography is as much an integral part of William Gozali's life, as cooking is

As the crowned winner of Masterchef Indonesia Season 3, William Gozali, or better known to his cult of followers as ‘WillGoz’, is not one to quit what he’s started. The last time he quitted on something, it was his college education a few years ago. His life-changing decision, naturally, was met with strong objection from his parents, particularly his father.

When WillGoz chose to enroll in a program at one of the cooking schools in Jakarta post-dropping out, he decided to use a tattoo, a permanent reminder for himself to not quit it. The father and son relationship did not get better, at least not until WillGoz reached Top 5 in Masterchef Indonesia. One of the tattoos, on his inner right arm, read “stand tall” and above it, is a four-legged wolf-like creature with elongated, tree-like, legs. That tattoo as a self-reminder, during the Masterchef period, to stand tall despite the immense pressure from the competition and his peers.

 “Truth be told, I had never been a rebellious child”, confessed WillGoz. However, anyone who have watched his journey in Masterchef Indonesia Season 3, or have seen the 9 tattoos inked on his body or his unconventional, contemplative, yet beautiful Instagram feed, would most likely be inclined to think otherwise. 

Like many people, Willgoz used to not take Masterchef seriously because of all the dramas portrayed on the TV. All that prejudice was shattered, once he himself experienced what it was like to be in the competition. He then realized that everything that the audience saw on TV, were brutally real and the dramas were not orchestrated. The contestants, after being quarantined together and saw each other every single day for an extended period of time, actually became friends in real life. “So, when one of the contestants were sent home, the tears you see on TV are genuine and not just an act”, said William.

William Gozali, the crowned winner of Masterchef Indonesia Season 3
contemplating the future...
After Masterchef Season was over, Willgoz found himself with plenty of time to kill. So he restarted his photography passion and found coffee as one of his favourite photography subject. Eventually, from just being a photogenic photography subject, WillGoz had the desire to learn and understand better about coffee. That desire led him to land a month-long internship as a barista at One Fifteenth Coffee, during which he received much knowledge from the passionate fellow baristas and generosity of the owners who let him ‘waste’ their precious coffee and other ingredients for practice.

WillGoz realized that the ‘Masterchef Indonesia’ title is not the end nor the zenith of his path in the kitchen. In fact, it was just the beginning of who know what awaits him in the future. With the title in tow, a dash of determination and a pinch of luck, WillGoz is departing for Sydney sometime in June 2014. His destination is the Le Cordon Bleu, the reputable culinary arts institute, which has been known to graduate numerous top chefs around the world today.

William Gozali instagram
a collage of some of my favourite photos by @Willgoz on Instagram

“Practice makes perfect” is the mantra that WillGoz keeps repeating to himself for everything he does, whether it’s cooking, making coffee or photography. Let us all bid him a temporary farewell and wish him the best of luck in the next chapter of his life.

This article appeared in The Foodie magazine 06 issue, June 2014, page 64.

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