Masterchef Australia – Audra A Professional Cook? She Has A Catering Business.
To think we were all giving Cupcake Julia the evil side eye about her Saturday Market business, well now it has been revealed Audra has a catering business going in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.
The Daily Telelgraph has revealed that Audra Morrice, who is one of the front runners in the competition, not only owns her own catering company but the Masterchef producers knew about it!
The company called Audra’s Gourmet Kitchen has been running for two years. This might explain why she keeps her cool in challenges and is comfortable cooking in bulk.
The article says:
But her [Audra’s] MasterChef profile lists her as a NSW account manager, and production company Shine Australia has not disclosed to viewers that she also ran her own successful catering company – Audra’s Gourmet Kitchen – in Sydney’s eastern suburbs until being selected for the show.
The business, which she set up two years ago, delivers to Woollahra, Waverley and Randwick.
One of her weekly menus, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, features beef rendang, roast pork spare ribs and dark chocolate tea bread.
A weekly email also asks customers: “If you know anyone who would like to be on our mailing list, please drop me a quick line”.Morrice has said she plans to “one day have a concept store that sells Audra’s Gourmet Delights and offers cooking courses”.
The rules stipulate “all MasterChef contestants must be amateur cooks” and that they “cannot have earned money or payment of any kind from preparing food and/or cooking fresh food in a professional kitchen environment such as a restaurant, cafe or takeaway”.
While MasterChef’s executive producer Margie Bashfield refused to comment on Morrice’s inclusion in the show, a Shine Australia spokesman admitted they were aware of her cooking background – and had decided it didn’t give her an unfair advantage.
While The Sunday Telegraph is aware of several eastern suburbs professionals not related to Morrice who regularly paid for her food, the spokesman tried to maintain the catering service was only extended to her friends and family.
He did not answer why the catering company had not been disclosed to viewers.
“Audra was upfront with producers regarding Audra’s Gourmet Kitchen. Her full-time employment was as a senior account manager with AAPT and this was a home-based hobby reserved for family and friends,” he said.
“The menus were included in her MasterChef application and were deemed a demonstration of her enthusiasm for home cooking.
The producers felt that this did not create an unfair advantage over other contestants as she was not working in a professional kitchen.”
The whole issue of who is an amateur this year on Masterchef is getting murkier than the Olympics was until they gave up the farce of it being a competition for amateur sports people. Even though she is one of my favourites, I don’t think she or Julia should have been allowed to compete as they are not strictly amateur cooks, as they have derived income from their cooking.
There does need to be an even playing field, and the other question is did they other contestants know about Audra’s cooking CV or was it kept hidden from them as well?
What do you think? Should Audra be allowed to be a contestant in Masterchef Australia this year? And if she wins will it no be tarnished?
Masterchef Australia episode tonight will have the three past winners Julie Goodwin, Adam Liaw and Kate Bracks at 7.30pm on TEN