A Comprehensive Guide To The 'MasterChef' Top 12

We're halfway through season 11 which means its time to have a look at who's shaping up to take the title of 'MasterChef' this year.

The cooking comp has been tricky enough from the start but as we reach the pointy end, it's going to get a whole lot tougher for our amateur chefs.

We decided to check the report cards of the top 12 contestants and consider who's got what it takes to make it all the way to the finale and follow in the footsteps of winners like Sashi Cheliah, Elena Duggan, Andy Allen and Adam Liaw.

Anushka Zargaryan, 49, VIC

Anushka has become known for her penchant for textured layer cakes but has also proven her strengths in the savoury realm with some seriously tasty chicken and prawn dumplings. One to watch to take home the 'MasterChef' crown.

Top 3 Recipe Highlights

Pineapple and lemon cake

Chicken and prawn siu mai

Layered cake with plum sauce centre

READ MORE'Food Has No Language': Anushka Thanked Maggie Beer For A Very Special Reason

Ben Trobbiani, 24, SA

Ben initially made his mark on the competition through his wardrobe with a seemingly endless supply of Hawaiian party shirts. He may have flown under the culinary radar for the first half of the competition but his incredible cauliflower dish -- that used every part of the vegetable -- proved that he's got what it takes to make it to the finale.

Top 3 Recipe Highlights

Cauliflower with macadamia nut and Kaiserfleisch

Lamb with parsnips and beetroot

Classic cheeseboard with ricotta, honey and pear

READ MORE: Literally Just A Celebration Of Ben's Shirts

Christina Laker, 29, QLD

Queenslander Christina has been a strong leader, keeps her head during pressure tests and has a knack for flavour combos -- creating dishes like her divine Earl Grey panna cotta served with chocolate sponge, yum!

Top 3 Recipe Highlights

Pork and black sesame dumplings with cinnamon bark, star anise and orange broth,

Chinese inspired duck with noodles and broth,

Earl Grey panna cotta with chocolate sponge and chocolate soil,

Derek Lau, 26, WA

Derek has been a fan favourite right from the start for his, er, strength, ability to run really fast to the pantry and tendency to calmly solve problems in stressful situations. He was a strong team captain at Hanging Rock and is a dumplings wizard, dessert champ and chicken wings king -- the holy trinity.

Top 3 Recipe Highlights

Pork and prawn wontons with Szechuan sauce

Korean fried chicken wings

White chocolate and orange mousse with orange curd

Larissa Takchi, 22, NSW

Larry may have been involved with that little food truck fire in Queensland with Steph but that only made her more likeable because she just wanted to keep serving customers amidst the flames, showing true dedication. She's honest, hilarious and, although she's a dessert whiz, managed to impress Rick Stein himself with her cuttlefish invention.

Top 3 Recipe Highlights

Chargrilled cuttlefish with garlic bone marrow puree and tomato sugo

Kanafeh with rose and strawberry sorbet

Caramelised banana sundae

READ MORE: MasterChef: The Secret To Making The Perfect Dumplings

Nicole Scott, 24, QLD

Nicole has been a solid achiever throughout the comp, and even though she dropped that quiche at Hanging Rock, she totally nailed the pastry and filling, winning praise from Maggie Beer.

Top 3 Recipe Highlights

Plum pie and smoked vanilla ice cream

Queensland crepes with lychee caramel

Pan-Seared rabbit loin with prosciutto, potato puree, toasted walnuts and grapes

Sandeep Pandit, 37, VIC

Sandeep scored himself an immunity pin during a massive episode where he made that unforgettable lobster and the lemon chicken that nearly made the judges weep with happiness. Although he strategically played his pin because of a back injury, there's no doubt Sandeep could win another pin, and possibly the whole comp.

Top 3 Recipe Highlights

Masala lobster

Lemon pepper chicken with lemon rice and raita

Basil lachha paratha with tomato curry

READ MORE: ‘Angels Are Singing Somewhere’: A Flawless Night For Sandeep On ‘MasterChef’

Simon Toohey, 32, VIC

The day Simon made that Japanese set custard was the day we all realised that he was a serious 'MasterChef' contender. He's gone on to have an impressive run, recently showing the judges a very inventive way to cook Brussels sprouts -- with all little sprouts cooked entirely on the stem.

Top 3 Recipe Highlights

Japanese set custard

Blue swimmer crab salad, oyster mayonnaise and candied peanuts

Brussels sprouts, parsnip puree, leeks and lamb

Steph De Sousa, 45, NSW

Steph had a huge turnaround a few weeks into the competition, taking control of the way she approached the competition mentally. The dish that helped her reclaim her mojo? Her incredible Chinese rice noodle rolls with hoisin and chilli oil. A strong contender to take out the title of 'MasterChef'.

Top 3 Recipe Highlights

Roasted bone marrow with pine nut pudding

Chinese rice noodle rolls with hoisin and chilli oil

Salted caramel and walnut tart with star anise ice cream

READ MORE: 'We Walked Out And Just Burst Into Tears': Steph Recounts Her Food Truck Fire Nightmare

Tati Carlin, 49, VIC

Week after week, Tati plates up dishes that surprise the judges with punches of flavour and plenty of texture. She even proved she can work wonders using office kitchen appliances, cooking up Vietnamese pancakes in a sandwich press and she also knows her way around the 'MasterChef' herb garden.

Top 3 Recipe Highlights

Crab croquettes with quail egg and peanut sauce

Sour chicken curry with Rempeyek peanut crackers

Vietnamese pancake with grilled chicken and fish sauce dressing

READ MORE: MasterChef: This Is What Would Actually Happen If You Cooked Fish At Work

Tessa Boersma, 27, QLD

Tessa may have nearly killed George with her chilli mud crab but even though he was sweating bullets and feeling dizzy, the judge couldn't deny how good the dish was. She's won TWO immunity pins already and could honestly make it to the number one spot and leave her life as a criminal statistician behind.

Top 3 Recipe Highlights

Chilli mud crab

Aussie bacon and eggs

Hot and spicy buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce

READ MORE: Tessa From 'MasterChef' Told Us Exactly What A Criminal Statistician Does

Tim Bone, 33, VIC

T-Bone, the Prince Harry lookalike, made a triumphant return to the comp with his rare steak and mushroom dish that knocked Gary and Matt over. He originally left the competition during a tricky dessert challenge in Queensland so he'll probably be hoping to avoid those technical pressure tests over the next few weeks. A fan favourite, beloved narrator and pork belly prince.

Top 3 Recipe Highlights

Steak and mushrooms with parsnip puree and miso butter

Lamb cutlets with roast pumpkin puree and goat's cheese mousse

Crispy pork belly with celeriac puree and charred fennel with an apple and thyme glaze

MasterChef Australia airs Sunday to Thursday nights at 7.30pm. Only On 10 And WIN Network. Missed an episode? Catch up on 10 Play or 10 All Access!