MasterChef launching in April

masterchefausMasterChef Australia will launch on Monday April 27th, on a purpose-built kitchen with 22 large stainless-steel work counters, 20 ovens and hobs, a restaurant, bar, coffee lounge and a well-stocked pantry. Located in Alexandria, Sydney, it took 37 workmen two weeks to construct.

“There is simply nothing more exciting than watching people chase their dream,” the TEN programmer David Mott tells The Australian.

“This is positive upscale TV, upscaling the original show into something, well, really upscale…”

There’s a lot riding on this one. Set to replace that waning Big Brother, the show will spearhead TEN’s mid-year push before the return of Australian Idol. Like BB, it will air from Sunday to Friday.

Each week there will be two eliminations: one decided on by the contestants, the other by the judges. MasterChef‘s three-person judging panel is made up of two chefs and restaurateurs, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris, and food critic Matt Preston. Hosting the series is Sarah Wilson, a former magazine editor and a food professional.

Shooting is well under way following a nationwide audition tour in which more than 7500 passionate contenders for FremantleMedia.

The final 50 were flown to Sydney to compete against each other in a series of makeshift culinary challenges in old railway sheds near inner-city Redfern as the producers searched for original characters to fill what would be more than 100 hours of prime-time television.

“The first day we walked on there were seven or eight cameras, like a monstrously big movie,” says Preston.

“We stripped out the just-want-to-be-on-telly types really quickly; they’re the ones that have no food knowledge.”

The structure of the localised MasterChef, he suggests, is carefully designed for maximum drama, more so than the British original (airing on LifeStyle Food channel).

“Our show has more back story, more personal connections, more passion, and the challenges are more demanding,” Mott says.

“Great TV is about storytelling; audiences want to be taken on spiritual journeys, watching as the onion of character is peeled before their eyes.”

Source: The Australian


  1. ive seen heaps of previews on t.v and i cant wait until its on t.v.. it looks heaps excitng.. i reakon the best judge is the dude from ready steady cook.. i love the way they cook so fast and it always looks yummy 2 eat !!

  2. I am with Honestcritic – why Calombaris – he is just a self inflated fool??? He cant be controversial because he doesnt have the wit. But i guarantee he will make us cringe instead!!

    And what is with the Vic slant (even though it was filmed in Sydney) – were there no willing Sydney chefs, or are they too busy working and running Australia’s best restaurants??!!

    I love the English version and so will watch this one, but I agree with most – make it Mon-Fri not Sunday to Friday – too much & too drawn out.

    Personally I don’t give a hoot about peeling back the onion layers – I want fast and furious. Who the contestents are and their stories doesnt interest me in the least.

  3. I think it’s gonna be cool. Can’t wait. the onion peeling part is gonna be fun. Todd and Ben i agree with you. The uk version is purely about food and that’s a good thing but it does get repetitive and boring. A bit of spice and emotion about the journey the people are on, added to that will make the perfect combo. The biggest loser would be nthing if it were just about people losing weight. It’s watching the people’s battles and their own journey that makes it interesting. I feel so proud of them when i see what they’ve achiev ed in their weight loss and how it’s changed their lifes – good for them!

  4. funny, biggest loser tells us to stop eating, then followed by a cooking show that will probably encourage us to gobble right back up. i think it looks great. loved the uk series. going to be interesting to see how it all ends up. i’ll be watching.

  5. Honestcritic

    George Calombaris? What a bad choice!
    Choosing a judge that proudly told viewers of Ready Steady Cook that he got caught tasting food with his fingers in his restaurant kitchen and then personally protested by putting a young family memeber infront of that patron with a bowl of melted chocolate (after the customer complained) without a spoon so that they would have to eat it with their fingers infront of him or her to rub it in is just disgusting. Thats not a search for ratings Ten, thats just stupid. He is not controversial like Ramsey (if thats your angle), hes just unprofessional!! !! Looks like you wasted your money, because we know many, many people who will switch the chanel over when that so called ‘professional’ is on!

  6. Can’t wait, it sounds like they’ve got a really good format ready. Just look at how well they’ve adapted The Biggest Loser, Pop Idol (Australian Idol) and Big Brother for the Australian market.

    All that’s needed now is for TEN to rejuvenate Big Brother as a 10:30pm show with some really hard hitting contestants and we’ll be all set.

  7. I’m looking forward to this – never seen the UK version so ready to give it a go.

    Any anything that keeps Big Brother off TV has got to be worth giving a chance!

  8. I’ve watched the UK version on Lifestyle Food a few times, and honestly, it’s boring as bats**t, with 2 boring/annoying judges. I look forward to seeing what 10 does with the formula, taking the focus away from the food a bit…. Whether it makes a good replacement for Big Brother remains to be seen (and if it does go down the gurgler, might we see a revamped BB back next year?)
    I’ll be watching.

  9. As long as the contestants don’t cry constantly about their passion to do something for their kids/wife/sick grandmother/three legged dog I’ll give it a whirl.

    I like the UK version, but it does get very repititive just to focus on the food… hopefully the Aus version will strike a good baance.

  10. lol. I love the metaphor “as the onion of character is peeled before their eyes.”!
    anyway, the promo looks pretty interesting, and I reckon I’ll watch it.. see if it’s any good 🙂

  11. It looks good! I will watch it, how do we all know on this forum that its going to fail? The promos look good. Who cares if its reality TV? Whats so bad about it? It gives someone a chance to do what they have always wanted to do.

  12. I wont be watching this show, no intetest in it at all. Plus no one wants to know the life story of each participant, or constant “coming up after the break”, and “before the break” recaps.
    I dont see this lasting the full season at this time slot. It will have to move to 6pm, or during the day, replacing Raymond repeats.
    Anyway, whether it has a full run or not, the 7pm timeslot will be more repeats of Simpsons, Futurama, Will & Grace, or another show we have seen a hundred times before come August.

  13. Randwick Geoff

    More reality s**t from Channel ten ……..I think all the other threads are pretty much on the ball here ….. if Masterchef is playing to low ratings on the food channel on foxtel, then it is unlikely it will pick up an audience on FTA …..

  14. I don’t want more back story. The reason the UK version (not original as the original was French) is so good is because it’s all about the food.

  15. “This is positive upscale TV, upscaling the original show into something, well, really upscale…”

    Not sure how it will upscale as they only use the HD channel for sport.

  16. Geez, strange call by Ten.
    I thought UK version of Masterchef worked well – Mon to Thurs gets one winner each , then n Friday we decide best of the best for that weeks winner.
    I just hope with this”more back story” “more demanding challenges” we do not go down road of the current annoying habit –
    Coming up next (brief previewof what they are going to do)
    Let’s look at what just happened (yep, a recap of the same preview we had 10 mins before)
    Just goet on with the show folks, less flashbacks or promos.

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