Why MasterChef Australia is a hit in India

The world is an oyster for Matt, Gary & George, thanks to their 10 hit.

Not so long ago I was at an airport in Sydney waiting for my bag on a carousel when I bumped into Gary Mehigan.

He was waiting for several more bags than me, because he was heading off to India, filming his own show in between his local commitments. That was when I came to realise that the MasterChef Australia judges are rock stars in some countries, thanks to the 10 series (the Aussie version is widely recognised as the leading edition). In India, they rank close behind Cricket & Bollywood stars…

Back in 2013 Matt Preston told the Sydney Morning Herald, “I went to India the year before last and the boys (Calombaris and Mehigan) went there last year and we both had the same experience.

“We felt like Johnny Depp, it was very freaky to a level that we haven’t seen here.

“They (Calombaris and Mehigan) did a book signing and 3000 people turned up.”

That success is partly due to the diversity of contestants. MasterChef has ticked many nations, many cultures over the years, including in 2018 when Sashi Cheliah won specialising with his South Asian cuisine.

As ED Times in India observes, MasterChef Australia has world renowned guest chefs, diverse contestants, camaraderie, and three effusive judges.

“Being used to Bigg Boss and Roadies as the standard of judging where a lot of abuse and fear is instilled into the contestants, the judges on MasterChef Australia are amongst the best that you’ll come across,” it says.

“George, Matt, and Gary are more likely to shed a tear when a contestant is eliminated, or when someone narrates a particularly heartrending story of one’s humble background. How can someone not adore that?

“The judges love India and never miss out a chance to visit our country, always professing about their love for Indian cuisine.

“Just last month, Gary was roaming in the streets of Chandni Chowk in Delhi trying out our favorite ‘chole puri’ and other Indian cuisines.”

MasterChef Australia is also a hit in other countries including South Africa.

With Netflix keen to muscle in more in a nation of over 1.3 billion Indians, the three Amigos may yet have plenty of options on the table.

10 Responses

  1. I was curious about the India angle but in reality (no pun intended) numerous international celebrity chefs travel worldwide to appear in versions of franchised cooking shows, so Preston, Calombaris and Mehigan are just following a similar celebrity path that has already been well trodden by others. The big test for them would be to create a new show as Jeremy Clarkson did post Top Gear.

  2. Im not convinced that the three judges Could move or create a show that would rate as well as MasterChef. The show created these guys and l feel they will disappear into the darkness. Sure they could come up with a cooking show but it won’t rate. Garry already tried it with Far Flung. It’s was just another cooking show really. Ten biggest issue is how to improve on them. Selection is critical.

  3. It’s interesting to contrast this article with the opinion piece that recently ran on the ABC news site that said it was a good thing that none of the three judges was going to appear next year, because of the lack of diversity with them.

  4. Masterchef Australia has long been a staple on the Star World channel (now rebranded Fox Life) on pay TV in India and Asia – with seasons repeated many times, so it’s not surprising they get recognised.

  5. Yes great story David. The appeal of Masterchef for me is the variety of food a diverse group of people can bring to the show. I love hearing about who is from where and what they can bring to the table so to speak. It was a shame this season we lost diverse people like Huda, Dee and Yossra all very early, I was really looking forward to what each of them could cook.

    The three judges did a great job and I’m not surprised they are held in such high regard in other countries too. It sounds like they still have big futures on our screens going forward.

  6. So that confirms everything that we loved about MasterChef is being recognised worldwide, and adds to the justification of a negotiation of a contract that reflects the global onsale of the program. I’m still kinda in disbelief that it’s ended.

  7. Great story. It’s always very admirable when Australian programming, companies, businesses and people are successful in foreign countries, being successful in the non-native lands. It’s the same for for people from foreign backgrounds who are admired by people in the home or native countries for achieving success in foreign countries.

    MasterChef seems to tick the boxes when it comes to appealing to Australian audiences and foreign audiences.

  8. All through Indonesia & Malaysia MasterChef Australia is huge because of the amount of contestants from those countries over the years. We have the most diverse contestants of any version in the world

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