Masterchef Australia – What Goes On Behind The Scenes
Yesterday there was a great article in the Sydney Magazine about a day on the Masterchef Australia set. It is quite long but I highly recommend it.
The author Stephanie Woods spent the day on the set when Peter, Sun and Craig went head to head with Adam D’Sylva.
Some of the highlights of the interview are:
- The contestants are given $500 a week to cover expenses they may have outside the house;
- The contestants have relinquished their mobile phones and have no internet or email access while they’re in the competition. When they return from the set to the house each night, they’re not allowed out.
- Once a week only are they permitted to call loved ones. In a rare concession to family ties, 36-year-old Orange resident Kate Bracks, one of two mothers of young children competing, gets to meet her husband and children — aged eight, six and three — in a park once a fortnight.
- “Everybody on the show is an extrovert; like you wouldn’t be here really if you weren’t,” says Sun, a 32-year-old Queenslander who was raised a Hare Krishna and, until recently, was a vegetarian.
- Sun, Peter and Craig first stride through the doors of the set at around 9.15am with a whirring, swooping pterodactyl of a camera tracking their path but it’s not until just before midday that they start cooking – after more than two hours of shooting and reshooting the intro, as entrances, exits and lines are endlessly repeated.
- Caroline Spencer [producer] confirms that the judges are directed to taste elements of dishes as soon as they are cooked — straight from the pot — that would suffer if they were cold and defends the process with another argument: “The reason we use real chefs and real experts is because their palate is developed enough that they can judge it.”
- The MasterChef camera doesn’t lie: in fact, it understates the extreme physical and emotional demands on contestants. “A Stockholm-syndrome kind of situation” is the way Sun describes it. “Like being bipolar,” says Craig. “You have these extreme highs when you’re so excited; you’re doing a team challenge and the adrenalin is pumping and you’re just so excited and then you get these ridiculous lows if you lose.”