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Masterchef Australia – Hugely Influential Here And Abroad

Masterchef Australia judges Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris will be travelling to India as Tourism Ambassadors later this year to promote Australia as a holiday destination.

It just shows just how popular the show is in India and the impact it has on the increasingly important tourist market for Australia. Season Four started there mid-year.

The Herald Sun reports:

MasterChef Australia is surprisingly popular in India, so the Federal Government asked Mehigan and Calombaris to perform a series of cooking shows there.

Travelling in Italy yesterday, Mehigan told “It’s just quietly pretty cool that MasterChef Australia has made the original franchise a worldwide phenomena.

“We have a huge number of people tweeting us from India, and a number of Indian tourists visiting Fenix, [his award-winning restaurant in Melbourne] all because of the show.”

India is an important trading partner to Australia, said Mehigan.

MasterChef Australia 
was broadcast in India from the second season on the Star World network.

This also shows why Victoria was so keen to get the filming of the show to their State. It is a definite loss for Sydney and no more will there be those iconic shots of the Harbour Bridge or Opera House to tantalise the overseas viewers.

Masterchef’s influence does not stop there in a recent Power List of Food Masterchef Australia Executive Producer, Margie Bashfield was named number four.

The Power List highlights who is influential in the food industry in Australia. They write:

Nearly every chef, restaurant critic and member of the food industry The Power Index interviewed noted the impact of MasterChef on the way the Australians talk about and view food. When asked why our bookstores are over-saturated with cookbooks, iconic Penguin cookbook publisher Julie Gibbs replies: “We can happily blameMasterChef”.

Parents and teachers talk of children playing MasterChef at lunchtime and practising ‘plating up’. “The most positive thing that has come out of MasterChef is the influence the show has had on children,” says chef Kylie Kwong. Or, as Bashfield likes to call her, a member of “theMasterChef family”.

At least you know the catering would be good at that family reunion, with Bashfield reeling off Maggie Beer, Peter Gilmore, Neil Perry, Christine Manfield, Jacques Reymond, Shannon Bennett, Justin North, Guillaume Brahimi and Adriano Zumbo as other Australian chefs who have an ongoing relationship with the show.

But if Bashfield isn’t a foodie, who’s the one prompting increased sales of Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise and croquembouches?

It’s a collaborative effort. The food team and producers sit around the very same table The Power Index is perched at, brainstorming ideas on a white board: “Some that are dogs, some that are good”, laughs Bashfield.

Personally I would have put her higher than number three Neil Perry, apart from having better hair than him,  she has reached into just about every Australian home.  We have bought products related to the show, cooked recipes, bought magazines, gone to events and visited eating establishments of the contestants and chefs. This is not even counting the jobs created within the local economy.

Margie Bashfield and co have created stars, new businesses and media identities. Also the judges and guest chefs have had their profiles increased exponentially because of exposure they have received. You cannot buy advertising like this.

It should be noted that George Calombaris and Matt Preston were in the top 25 of this list due to their involvement on the show.

If there was a Hall Of Fame for television programs this one deserves to be one of the first to be inducted in it.


1 Morgan { 09.29.12 at 7:10 pm }

Say what you will about the current quality of the show, but there’s no denying that it’s made a huge impact on the Reality TV world. I find it quite comparable to America’s Next Top Model in how both shows became wildly popular in such a short time and spawned many different versions all over the world.

And with Ten’s less than stellar ratings with their programming this year, until they produce another that matches MCA’s ratings, the show is here to stay.

2 brain dead dave { 09.30.12 at 10:35 am }

Warning to parents in India -lock up your daughters…here come the groping gourmets.

Julie Goodwin will be revered as an incarnation of Ganesh.

3 Dr T { 09.30.12 at 11:14 pm }

We’re over MC for this year… Beauty and the Geek time!

4 Buzzy { 10.01.12 at 7:59 am }

I have just finished watching Masterchef UK. It was great; a lot more of a focus on cooking and less on twerpy shots of contestants putting their mascara on in the morning….and less biased and more respectful judging (eg contestants sit down with the judges)

5 Georgie { 10.01.12 at 2:09 pm }

This blog isn’t the only place people have been commenting on the over scripting and editing of MC and the inane amatuer dramatics of the judges, spoiling what was once a good show. Watch ‘The Restaurant’ on ABC Shine and get back to being real. ‘Popular overseas’ won’t be much use if it’s been killed off at home.

6 brain dead dave { 10.01.12 at 2:14 pm }

Ma$terchef- a great reality tv show – but a shit cooking show. Big difference.

7 maria { 11.16.12 at 1:13 pm }

I am watching MC Australia 2012 right now as it is broadcasted here in the Netherlands. Being an Aussielover myself, it is a relief to find something (else than the good old rerereruns Steve Irwin) Australian and gossip about it with my friends. Okay, this season is far too much edited and only one show on KI!!! Give us much more than Sydney please!!! It’s wintertime here (freezing now here in Amsterdam) but I am enjoying mc with the final week next week! C’YA OIOIOI