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Masterchef Australia Launch Party – The Stuff You Really Want To Know

Masterchef Australia announced itself on the TV ratings landscape on Wednesday night, by saying yes this is the show you have been waiting for this year and we will be leaving you all in our wake again in 2011.

For once it is not puffery as you will know that it will be one of the highest rating shows on TV, with a lot of chatter off and online – particularly on this blog.

Oh and by the way regular readers I was told by a Season 2 contestant that this blog and comments got a lot of it pretty right last year. So a big thank you guys and lets keep those conspiracy theories coming.

There were Season 2 contestants there and you wonder if this is their last time in the limelight, before we get obsessed with this years contestants. What I found interesting was not which of the contestants from Season 2 were there but the ones that were not.

Marion Grasby was not which I found unusual as I would have thought she would have used it as an opportunity to promote her TV show (yet to be picked up) to the mainstream media. Claire Winton Burn was not there, nor was Matthew Caldicott. But the big question to be asked was where was Season 2 star Irmgard?

The only two from Season one were Julie Goodwin, and Justine who was looking very saucy in a micro mini dress.

Now about Season three – the catchphrase of the evening was “it is going to be all about the cooking”. Which may have been an admission that last year was all about the tears and drama.

Also I was told there was no villain in this series, hopefully they were lying, anyway I am sure if there is not one, we will make one!

I also raised the issue that was a bugbear on this blog, about the editing particularly in early episodes, only showcasing the top three and bottom three dishes in the challenges which meant you knew which contestants would be in those spots. Obviously the issue is length of episode.

Things I found interesting:

  • That Chris Badenoch and Julia Jenkins did not receive any love from the room when they were mentioned in speech by Gary Mehigan. One person did a “Yeah”, and Gary quipped “Who are you his agent?”
  • Speaking of Gary, I thought he had the best comic timing of the four judges, however after Matt Preston and George Calombaris finished their schlock Marx Brothers act, Matt proved he was funny as well;
  • Matt Preston is the favourite judge of a lot of the Season 3 contestants;
  • Jimmy Seevai will be opening his Indian Restaurant in six weeks, this is in Surry Hills;
  • Also props to Jimmy about giving me a tickle up about what I wrote about him on the blog, criticising him about his one dimensional cooking style, but I suggested he was on the show to promote future enterprises..
  • Jonathan Daddia is looking at foodie enterprises he said it may involve food not made in Australia currently, if it is Israeli cuisine he might find it difficult to open in the Inner West… Hopefully he will do something this year as he has a lot of fans;
  • Rumour has it Aaron Harvie got paid a lot to sell out to Pizza Hut, so that explains it, but in the long term I still think it could be a career limiting move, and as they say selling out is only bad when you are the one not doing it;
  • Matt Moran is as hot in real life as on screen, he said he will be doing other projects with Ten so hopefully it will be something to do with turning him into Australia’s answer to Tom Colicchio sans the gut. Also I wonder if any TV channel has canvassed a Hell Kitchen type show, as he would be perfect in the role. He does a good Gordon Ramsay without the c**t factor.

Now about the contestants for Season three, there is an embargo on names obviously, but what I did find interesting from the advertisement I had thought it was mainly a young cast, but was pleased to see there were a full spread of ages and ethnicity. Reality TV again shows it does not discriminate on basis of religion, race, or sexuality, well not as much as the Australian dramas.

Also the ones I met were very positive and excited the possibilities that may open up to them by being on this show.

Here is the blurb about the Season 3 contestants:

The Top 50 contestants chosen to cook off for the prestigious title of MasterChef Australia 2011 include;

– 12 contestants from NSW (last year 15) including a DJ and a life guard from Sydney’s Northern beaches

– 14 contestants from VIC (last year 13) in an even male and female split including a graphic designer, a farmer and two publicists.

– Double the number of contestants from QLD with 12 (six last year) including a mum of five, a fruit and veg salesman and a 20 year old nursing student.

– Five contestants from WA (four last year) including a never seen before profession for MasterChef Australia, that of a fighter pilot

– Seven contestants from SA (last year 10) including an award winning wine maker.

Also it looks like the challenges are going to make My Kitchen Rules ones look downmarket.

For this Season’s MasterChef Australia from the very first challenge on Sydney’s Cockatoo Island when a giant one tonne mystery box arrives suspended from a helicopter. Even though George is probably small enough to fit into the box I don’t think he is in it.

Other challenges see MasterChef travelling to the pit of the Sunrise Dam mine in the West Australian outback, two kilometres out to sea on the longest jetty in the Southern hemisphere in Busselton, plus heading to the vineyards of Margaret River.

Also Rick Stein meets contestants for an amazing masterclass in Kuala Lumpur, and closer to home the contestants cook on the beautiful beaches of Cronulla.

A big thank you to Channel Ten for letting me attend the launch and it definitely got me motivated for the upcoming slog of what is Masterchef season.

Masterchef Australia premieres on 1 May 2011 on Channel Ten at 7.30pm.

If you are already feeling jaded about Season three, check out the below  3 minute sneak peek and it shows how this series is going to rock. As usual all episodes will be recapped, with the possible exception of Masterclass – as how many crimes to saturated fats can you write about.


1 Miss Piggy (MelbaToast) { 04.15.11 at 11:11 am }

I C A N T W A I T! I’m so excited that that is the only sensible thought I can muster to write! BRING IT ON (ok, so that’s two thougths, but whatever)!

2 Darryl { 04.15.11 at 11:22 am }

Will be a massive hit again. No doubt. Bring it

3 Phuoc'n Delicious { 04.15.11 at 11:27 am }

Thanks for the inside scoop of the launch! I’m so excited for this season’s Masterchef. Bring on the food (minus the tears and sob stories please)!

4 Lola1 { 04.15.11 at 11:34 am }

Marion was invited but had a meeting that night – News to come on that one!

5 librarygirl { 04.15.11 at 11:44 am }

Never watched an ep of MKR (the title I found really offputting for a start) but I love MC and how much time you devote to it on this blog, and looking forward to seeing the familiar commenters here and reading the banter. Bring it on RR! This blog is a BIG part of the MC season for me.

6 Reality Raver { 04.15.11 at 11:52 am }

Darryl – Oh yes it will indeed MKR will be but a distant memory

Phuoc’ndelicious – is that the best blog name ever? Yes let the journey’s be a side show and the food the focus.

Lola1 – good to hear, as Marion deserves to be a success and her show looks great. However that still does not clear up the mystery of Irmgard….

Librarygirl – thank you – the blog would be nothing without the wit and insight of its readers. I will try and set the standard again this year.

7 dmc { 04.15.11 at 11:57 am }

While I have no great love for MKR, it DID focus on the food and I liked the pictures of every meal with the written components. Great to hear that MC is going to focus on the food this year.

8 Montgomery { 04.15.11 at 12:10 pm }

Lola1 it sounds like you have inside information. I reckon it must have something to do with Coles. I checked Marion’s website and it appears Coles are the only retailer in the land not stocking her food range. Maybe they were annoyed she didn’t win so they couldn’t lock her into some exclusivity contract…

9 PollyB { 04.15.11 at 12:53 pm }

RR, I am soooo glad to hear Matt Moran is as hot in real life! More MMmmmm on our screens please – Aussie Top Chef, are we getting a MC Professionals? I expect there to be less ‘corn’ with Matt M, hope so.
If they focus on the food more this could be a really good season. Excited now :-)

10 brain dead dave { 04.15.11 at 1:01 pm }

If it’s going to be all “all about the cooking”,then viewers can expect to be as badly burned as some of the dishes we’re about to see.

11 sourkraut { 04.15.11 at 1:38 pm }

I concur
Bit like political core and non-core promises coreblimey!

12 sourkraut { 04.15.11 at 1:51 pm }

AH yes “restaurant quality dish” straight from Harry’s Cafe De Wheels!
I also note soblubbery is included again
And somebody for distant male monarch steaming brown effluent sake please tell Gary or George to at least “piss off” when they come around asking stupid questions of the contestants during the cooking! If necesary I am happy to lend any contestant my dog-eared copy of Mad’s “Snappy answers to those stupid questions” eg how do you feel about going home”? Answer (mild one) “I’m overjoyed that I will never have to endure one of your stupid questions again”
AND I suppose “blind ” tasting will still NOT be done, nor drawing lots to see whose sacrificial burnt offering will beappreciated first by the judges.

13 davsimp { 04.15.11 at 1:56 pm }

I also read somewhere that an eliminated contest from Season 2 will be returning in season 3 for another go. Any ideas? i did see a large guy in the preview who looked a bit like “Big Dom” from the last series.

My arse it will be all about the food. It wouldn’t be Masterchef without the tears and the drama. We’ve already witnessed three different sets of tears from that brief three minute preview. And with all the running around that goes in that kitchen it’s about time we saw someone go arse over tit with a box of food. I just hope no one gets to stay in solely for bunging on a teary performance. Cue Claire-i-chose-the-hardest-dish-winton-burn.

RR, maybe they only wanted the previous contestants who have embarked on some kind of cooking/food career at the launch. If that is the case then that would explain why claire and matt were not there.

14 Ellie { 04.15.11 at 2:19 pm }

Judging by the preview, it’s hard to believe it’s going to be just “all about cooking”.

“Rick Stein meets contestants for an amazing masterclass in Kuala Lumpur” – “Masterclass in KL” Does that mean there will be another ‘secret’ oversea destination? It’s hard to believe they reveal everything in the preview.

davsimp – I read it too but I believe it’s an ex-contestant from season 1.

15 sourkraut { 04.15.11 at 2:20 pm }

I also look forward to a Kamikaze contestant telling George during one of his exquisite masterclasses that his (George’s) food tastes like something Bear Grylls rejected as nutrition!

16 Paul { 04.15.11 at 2:30 pm }

Yay for Masterchef.

17 JaniceG { 04.15.11 at 2:44 pm }

Thanks for the inside scoop. Must admit I’m sorry to hear about all the gallivanting and trick locations – I still shudder at the debacle at the CWA tea last season. As for there being no villain in the series, I’m betting that when last season started out, nobody would have thought that Joanne would provoke such a negative reaction or that Claire would be so polarizing, for example. And even if they say there’s no villain, I bet they’re secretly hoping for one to boost ratings and press.

18 PollyB { 04.15.11 at 3:03 pm }

BDD, Sour & Davsimp – Give a girl a break, you’re all bringing me down before the season has even started!
Still, Mad’s snappy answer to stupid question, and mirth at someone going a-over-t do cause much happiness :-)

19 Pollywaffle { 04.15.11 at 3:32 pm }

Wonder if MasterChef will start pinching stuff from MKR?
Then again whats actually pinchable? Matt’s already into velvet suits, Gary’s got the accent covered, oh I know George can start wearing irridescent blue contact lenses……….

20 Paul { 04.15.11 at 3:35 pm }

I hope they learn from Masterchef UK.

They have really diluted the product the last few years with MC ‘The Professionals’, Junior MC & Celeb MC.
Can’t even watch the main show any more and it used to be one of my favourites.

MC Oz kills it now to be honest.

21 Jenny @ Musings and Morsels { 04.15.11 at 3:36 pm }

Also heard whispers of two bloggers in this season? Any goss you can let us in on? 😉

22 PollyB { 04.15.11 at 3:54 pm }

Paul, haven ‘t you noticed, Oz had Celebrity MC, and does Junior MC? UK copied Oz with Jnr.
MC Professionals finished couple of weeks ago and I love it. Cos the food they cook looks farken fantastic after a few heats, and I love that they have all those starred chefs involved. Not to mention Michel Roux Jr, his facial expressions along with Shreks verbal expressions, ‘Caw’, “I could dive right into that’, I like ’em! And they went to noma. That Rene fellow is a treat.

23 Reality Raver { 04.15.11 at 4:12 pm }

Jenny @Musings and Morsels – there is a insidious contract where by me drinking free booze and food at the Masterchef launch I don’t name contestants until they announce their names.

Having said that I think one of the bloggers is named in a previous post in the comment section.

24 Culinary Boner { 04.15.11 at 4:40 pm }

Raver, nice run-down of the launch.
Though I have to ask: why these TV types are so petulant?
Surely, as “it’s all about the food”, the MCA foodies and publicity hangers-on would have been better off sitting at home (or in the pub) watching the action on MKR. Surely?
Or are the 10 producers as petty and vindictive as Mark Latham, that they have to “ignore”, in a snivelly manner, what more than 2million Aussies are watching on a rival network (yep, the same ones who’ll watch MCA) by holding their launch party on the same night? This little black duck was, of course, not invited. Which is a good thing. I was otherwise occupied with MKR and the weekly grooming duties associated with Nasal Hair Wednesday.

25 skye { 04.15.11 at 4:45 pm }

That promo really did get me hyped up for this season. Also no sign of Donna Hay there, which is good, as I cannot stand her, but had heard she had a larger role to play in this series. Anything on that RR?

26 Injera { 04.15.11 at 4:50 pm }

Excellent wrap-up of the launch – great to read some inside info. I think the organisers of the gig must’ve been a bit disappointed to see that all the effort put into the MKR-final-killing party resulted in journos regurgitating the press release the next day!

I really am looking forward to this season, but I am a little miffed that they have already revealed so many guests. Surely as the elder-statesman of competitive cooking, and with bumper ratings from the first two seasons, they don’t need to show their hand…

27 KhunDel { 04.15.11 at 6:53 pm }

Thanks for the wrap up of the launch of MC. I really liked MKR this year – not so much last year – however that was just the entree. I am looking forward to the main course of MC 2011. Yeah !!!

28 essjayeats { 04.15.11 at 8:36 pm }

Can.not.wait. I don’t believe the “no villains” though – I suspect they cast someone they thought would be a villain, who doesn’t end up being stupid on camera …

Oh and Polly B Junior Masterchef UK came before Junior Masterchef Oz.

29 SaintsDeano { 04.15.11 at 9:30 pm }

No doubt in my mind that there will be more tears than hot meals in the first few weeks. Chris Badenoch was my favorite from season 1. He was a cheat, didn’t smile, not popular.. but he could cook.

30 KC { 04.15.11 at 9:39 pm }

Super excited for Season 3!! 😀

31 Reality Raver { 04.16.11 at 7:44 am }

I still think there will be a lot of people’s journeys on the show. By the way there is no alcohol allowed in the Masterchef house, was this ban implemented post season 1?

Davisimp – a former season contestant back in – could it be Irmgard? I have not heard that rumour do you know if it was in a paper?

Skye – I did not see her there but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t. Neil Perry was there, Maggie Beer, and Adriano Zumbo.

Injera – thanks well considering I am not as timely on my posts as others I do like to take a different perspective.

Saints Deano – yes Chris B could cook but I didn’t think he was particularly diverse. Did you buy his cookbook?

32 Ellie (Almost Bourdain) { 04.16.11 at 9:06 am }

RR – it is mentioned here that a contestant who made it to top 50 season 1 is returning:

33 Reality Raver { 04.16.11 at 9:29 am }

Ellie – Duh right in front of me in the press release… I am a moron. Didn’t spot who it was but then I was probably talking to them and did not realise.

34 Sourkraut { 04.16.11 at 11:15 am }

Back again on ten’s payroll? Missed your comments on MKR on Ch 7
As to villains , never fear, you can bet Llondon to a pacapootickets (Chinese lottery to the gentry) that 10 will portray someone as unspeakably evil so the morons and bigots can bitch about them

35 brain dead dave { 04.16.11 at 1:04 pm }

No alcohol in the house?

What is this? Brat Camp?

36 davsimp { 04.16.11 at 7:20 pm }

oops sorry guys, was a season one contestant in the top fifty. I didn’t watch any of masterchef series one*, have only seen series two. In fact, Masterchef series two was the first reality tv program I have ever watched. Never saw any of the biggest losers until this series, same as MKR. I did however, catch a couple of dancing with the stars episodes a while back, it was the one where they had Dicko (partnered with some hot brunette) and also Dawn Fraser, was that the same series?? I will watch this series though as Manu is in it, but if he gets flung out early on in the piece then I will probably give the rest of it a miss.

As to the alcohol question, yep, series two had a full fridge stocked with grog. They were always swigging back beers, and I remember one particular shot of an outdoor table at the house littered with empties. No booze will be lame. Wonder what the story is there then???

*Footnote. I blame RR and the commenters here for my new found TV viewing/addiction.

37 Reality Raver { 04.16.11 at 8:12 pm }

Davisimp – can I put that on my resume that my blog made you watch more reality TV?

38 Littlepetal { 04.16.11 at 8:50 pm }

Thanks for the inside scoop about the launch. Can’t wait for MC to start.

39 davsimp { 04.16.11 at 9:10 pm }

For sure, RR, but I draw the line at X factor and Australian Idol as butchering (or as BBD says, “mauling” ) ain’t my bag. As for the confession about Reality TV, all is true. Put it this way, I had to google “the turkey slap” to know what you trendsetters were on about. ROFLMAO.

40 brain dead dave { 04.17.11 at 2:16 pm }

It must have been an awful shock to discover that the turkey slap wasn’t about food.

I find quite handy and entertaining with similar queries.

41 Shelsta78 { 04.20.11 at 11:10 am }

I’m twitter free for S3 – should be interesting. It does mean RR will be my only outlet for shouty comments that often include this during MCA: “If you’re so keen on being a chef go to @#$@%#$% TAFE like everyone else had to”.

As I’m sure I’ll have a lot of Uni work to avoid during this season – my obsessive watching of MCA is guaranteed again in 2011

42 [プラダ イタリア] { 10.05.13 at 8:16 pm }

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