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Masterchef Australia – How Will It Work And Who Are The Judges?


We know 7500 people applied to go on the show and 50 were selected to cook on Masterchef. We are watching the ads, and reading about whether good cooks have been selected or just characters to make it an entertaining reality TV show. But how will the actually work?

Well TV Week this edition kindly provides us with the information:

Expect to see some grand-scale cook-offs, where the contestants are taken out of their purpose-built kitchen, as well as creativity tests like the Mystery Box challenge. Plus, each week, a celebrity chef will put their own reputation on the line as they face off against a contestant.

“It’s actually a very well-devised show in the sense that it emulates the chef apprenticeship process,” Sarah Wilson [the host] explains.  “The upshot isn’t just to have a winner in the end – it’s to create a trained, mentored cook.”

When the competition reaches the top 20, there’ll be two eliminations each week – one decided by the judges the other by the MasterChefs.Then, on Friday nights, George and Gary will host a “master class”, in which they teach the contestants – and viewers – how to perfect basics, such as roast chicken and mashed potato.

An angle not raised in the article  is when the Masterchefs get to vote off one of their own will they vote on cooking skills or alliances. That seems a bit like Survivor for me, so a strong chef could be voted off because they are seen as a threat?? I presume there will be some sort of immunity.

The other exciting aspect of the show is Channel Ten decided to go with all fresh faces so we will be seeing the host and judges on our screens for the first time. Sarah Wilson is the host, and three male Melbourne chefs are the judges (not real happy about that so they better be good).

But who are they? Where have they come from? TV Week in the same article gives its readers some tidbits of information.

Sarah Wilson- Host

Foodie Credentials: A fresh TV talent, Sarah Wilson is best known for her stint editing Cosmopolitan magazine, but she also has a background in food. Sarah began her journalism career as a restaurant critic and has travelled the world with the wine industry.

What’s her role on the show? “I’m very much the translator,” Sarah explains. “I steer things between  the judges, the contestants and the viewers at home.”

How did she land the gig? Sarah says she was approached to audition for the hosting role, and was really excited to get it. “I would never have thought to audition,” she says. “I think that if I was any younger, I’d find it really daunting – but, at this point in my career, it feels quite natural.”

The Judges:

Gary Mehigan –

Foodie Credentials: Uk-born chef Gary brings 25 years of experience to the judging panel. The owner of Melbourne restaurants Fenix and The Boathouse, he also regularly appears on 9am With David & Kim and can be seen in new series Boys Weekend on the Lifestyle Channel.

Gary’s judgeing style: Gary’s trained a lot of apprentice chefs during his career, and he uses a similar approach in the show. “I’m firm, but fair,” he says.

Did you know? Gary used to be fellow judge Georges’s boss! George learnt his trade under Gary at Hotel Sofitel in Melbourne and followed him when Gary opened Fenix in 2000. “I remember when George used to just say ‘yes’ to me! Gary laughs. “Not anymore…..”

Matt Preston –

Foodie Credentials: Restaurant critic Matt Preston has eaten all over the world – and written about it for publications such as The Age and Vogue Entertaining & Travel. He was named the World’s Best Food Journalist in 2008.

Matt’s judging style: Despite his intimidating appearance, Matt reckons he’s actually the softie of the group, likening himself to Australian Idol judge Marcia Hines! “I’m so Marcia,” he says. “But I’ll leave it up to you to judge whether I’m the lovely one or the nasty one!”

The odd one out: “I’m the mongoose sitting between the two cobrast!” Matt jokes about being the lone critic on teh judging panel. “The weird thing is, I think the onley thing we’ve argued about so far is mashed potato.”

George Calombaris-

Foodie credentials” Chef George is just 30 years ol, but he’s already a big name in the food industry. He owns four successful restaurants – three in Melbourne and one in Greece – and has a swag of awards too.

George’s judging style: Watch out contestants – George tells it like it is! “If you give me rubbish, I’m going to let you have it,” he warns. “That’s my style-spank and fluff. Fluff when it’s good and I’ll spank you when it’s bad.”

The worst dish he encountered on the audition trail: “It was road kill, basically. It was so disgusting that i was on the floor about to vomit. Gary had to go up- and, as he put his fork into whatever animal it was, he pulled out an extremely long red hair that belonged to the entrant. He should be in a kitchen jail somewhere.”

Masterchef Australia will be on our screens 6 nights a week from next Monday on Channel Ten. 7.30pm Monday, and 7.00pm Tuesday-Friday.


1 Dolph Ziggler { 04.21.09 at 10:32 am }

Raver, you need a sub-editor.

2 Injera { 04.21.09 at 7:45 pm }

I’m… scared. This looks nothing like Masterchef.

Not saying it won’t be entertaining, but why not call it Hell’s Kitchen – seems to have more in common with that – or *gasp* make up a new name for it!

3 Reality Raver { 04.21.09 at 11:15 pm }

Sorry Dolph – only excuse is extreme fatigue.

Injera – since I have not seen the original I have nothing to compare it to, but I know some people love it.
Speaking of Hell’s Kitchen Channel 9 must be getting ready to take the knife to it as it has been moved to the 10.30pm slot.

4 Bella Vita { 04.24.09 at 3:50 pm }

i doubt ill make it past the first episode for this one..but who knows, could end up being ok…
i laugh every time i see the print ad for it”can this tradesman cook a banquet for 200 wedding guests” lol