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Network TEN Upfronts – And Yes There Is Going To Be The Bachelorette!


The Network TEN Upfronts were held at Star Casino last night and it was a plethora of riches for reality fans with the good news that there will be the first series of The Bachelorette.  This announcement was clearly one of the most popular of the evening with the crowd.

This inevitably led to chatter about who would get the title role and since Laurina was at the function people if she was going to be the first The Bachelorette. She would be a good one and after  quick chat with her she revealed a good sense of humour.


If she is not The Bachelorette, then chances are she is going to be parachuted into the jungle for I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. TEN announced the hosts for the series Julia Morris and Chris Brown. Getting Julia Morris is quite a coup and will get people tuning in and if it is good keep them watching. The contestants will be revealed on the first night of the series. TEN a pinning a lot on this series and they are expecting that their shows will be the ones that people are talking about on Twitter and in the social media.

There was chatter about why they are not just sending the Celebs to a perfectly good set outside of Murwillumbah, but  this would NOT have put the celebrities outside their comfort zone whereas the “African jungle” will.

Sarah Harris was named as the host of Shark Tank and the five sharks are going to be  Janine Allis (Boost Juice Bars), Andrew Banks (Talent2), Steve Baxter (entrepreneur and investor), John McGrath (McGrath Estate Agents) and Naomi Simson (RedBalloon).

Masterchef Australia and The Bachelor will be the base for building a stronger TEN next year and The Biggest Loser will be given a makeover. It will now be TBL Families. Also it won’t screen until mid-year and won’t be kicking off the ratings year as  it has done for awhile. This is quite smart. Michelle Bridges walked the red carpet alone and Commando was not in the room.

TEN also announced that there will be another franchise announced for next year at some stage. I suspect it will be a reality show.

Within all the announcements there was no Recipe To Riches but after asking Russell Howcroft about it he said they are just waiting to get through this season. It will all come down to rating and Woolworths, I suspect. He also said that wins next week show is a cracker.

Gogglebox is the other new show which is about us watching people watching TV, it is very popular in the UK.

Fans of American Idol will be pleased to know the show will be fast tracked on ELEVEN and they will continue to screen the US version on So You Think You Can Dance and Snog, Marry and Avoid on this digital channel.

The stars were out in force and I chatted to Matt Preston, I wanted to take a photo but he insisted on selfie (regular readers will know I hate selfies). But the bright side is he makes me look petite.

IMG_4466The TEN programming looks fresh which differentiates it from the other free to air commercial channels who are taking into 2015 older/tireder reality TV formats.


November 14, 2014   43 Comments

Masterchef Australia Alumni Are Pumping Out The Cookbooks

My Kitchen Rules might have over taken Masterchef Australia in the ratings, but Masterchef is the one to give the contestants some cooking credentials.

When I was in Kmart (my spiritual homeland) the other week I noticed a swag of cookbooks from Masterchef alumni, it is clear that the contestants and the judges are still shifting product! Masterchef is still the cooking show to get on, and Tash from the latest Masterchef series has a good article on her blog A Kitchen Cat on tips for making the top 50. Thanks Little Petal for sending it in.

Here are the cookbooks:

Matt Preston has a new cookbook out but low and behold it has a centrefold in it, hopefully not a Cleo type one ala Jack Thompson.


Billy Law who was on Masterchef Australia Season Three has put out his second cookbook which is all about dude food. He said it is in its second print run.



Adam Liaw has another cookbook out this time for the time poor family cook.


Marion Grasby’s latest cookbook Asia Express is also going for the time poor cooking market.




Whereas Season One Masterchef winner Julie Goodwin is going one step better she is going for the time and money poor. This should sell well.





Some of the older Masterchef Australia alumni cookbooks are:

Dan Churchill with his The Healthy Cook, props to him for getting one out as I did not think he was a stand out cook in his series but his look fits in with the new eating clean trend.


Fiona Inglis in 2012 put out a kids cookbook. Fiona, a teacher worked with the Stephanie Alexandar program after she finished Masterchef.



Ben Milbourne stayed with his Mexican schtick during the show and after including this cookbook and YouTube series with his season winner Andy Allen.


Hayden Quinn’s Dish It Up, expect a new one from him soon to tie in with his new show on Lifestyle Food.



Callum Hann has gone back to basics to teach people who have no idea about cooking at all. At least it looks more appetising then The Commonsense Cookery Book!



And last but not least Emma Dean’s, the 2013 winner, cookbook.

a-homegrown-tableDo you have any of these books or other books by Masterchef judges or contestants? If so what do you think of them?


October 16, 2014   9 Comments

Masterchef Australia’s Brent Owens New Cookbook

Dig in Brent Owens

Masterchef Australia’s latest winner has well and truly left his digging days behind him as he says he has been busy writing recipes for his first cookbook Dig In.

The cookbook is based on classic recipes reinvented and will be out in November in time for Christmas.

This article on Cooked is quite interesting as he talks about how he learnt to cook from cooking shows. I note that Masterchef was NOT one of those shows he mentioned.

The highlights from the article are:

MasterChef fans know Brent Owens as the bobcat operator. And the season 2014 winner. When we talk to him, he’s crazy busy writing recipes and planning lunch: “Eggplant chips with kewpie mayonnaise and sriracha” (yep, it’s in the book).

He bought a laptop, which he takes everywhere. Between commitments (there are sure lots right now), he’s writing recipes. “Every chance I get, I might pop into a cafe and get a recipe written. Plus late nights in bed. It’s the most constructive way to do it.”

The pressure’s on: he’s looking at a whirlwind turnaround for his first book, Dig In!, which is out in November in time for Christmas.

What’s the vision? “It’s going to be pretty simple. Food I love to eat. Dishes from memories from the past that I have jazzed up a bit.” Essentially, the kind of food that anybody can achieve.

Food wasn’t really so important in his household growing up (“we always had meals at the family table, but it was never extravagant”) but, in his late teens, he decided he wanted to learn more.

By the time he’d finished school and (quickly) bought his own place in Melton, the routine of his day was set. Work, home, watch cooking shows, cook, eat, sleep. “I ended up watching them [cooking shows] for hours on end,” he says. Which shows? “I was always a huge fan of Jamie Oliver’s stuff, and Heston.”

He reckons he was something of a blank canvas – his words – at the start of the show, but “the picture started to paint itself throughout the competition”.

He spent his nights (seven months’ worth) in the Melbourne MasterChef house reading cookbooks. “We had a small library in the house that was chock-a-block full of books. I would look at those to teach myself to plate up.” Towards the end, when he was in the final three, Brent became enamoured with London chef Sat Bains’ book, Too Many Chiefs, Only one Indian. Why did he like it? The elegance, the pictures. “[But] It’s pretty cheffy, I can’t see it being a bestseller.”

Partner Madison Ancrum, who is also at the shoot on her day off, says sure, she is into the cooking thing (or, at least, the eating part) but, before the show, it did get a bit tiring at weekends. “He used to say, OK, I’m going to cook dinner, but it would start at 3 and not be served till 8.”

Reinforcing the influence of those cooking shows, she says the couple had never eaten “a fancy meal at a proper restaurant” before the show. Really? Really. “I mean, we’d go to a local restaurant and have a parma … [but] it’s incredible he can put it all together, just from watching …”

Madison is frank when asked about the trajectory they are on together: “He had the option of taking over the business [from her dad] and we would have kept living that lifestyle, waiting for the next step.” But he put his entry into MasterChef – half an hour before the cut-off no less – instead. Now, she says they’ve made a deal to move closer to the city by Christmas.

As for plans beyond that, Brent says he’s in talks with his web developer and brand manager. He’d like to develop a pre-made meals line “that actually tastes nice”. And he’s in early discussions about a television show that would have him driving around in a food truck, visiting people working different trades, “and trying to change they way the eat”.

In other Masterchef 2014 alumni news, James Fleming who was a bartender, prior to the show is now head chef at new place in Balmain Wilhelmina and he will be in a good mood today as it got a pretty good review in the Sunday Telegraph. 

October 5, 2014   8 Comments

Masterchef’s Hayden Quinn Gets His Own TV Show On Lifestyle Food

Cleo Bachelors 2012 - Hayden Quinn

Hayden Quinn will be back on the small screen when he fronts a new show The Dinner Project on Lifestyle Food.

Quinn who was in Masterchef Australia series three show will premieres  Sunday, November 2 at 7.00pm on LifeStyle FOOD, only on Foxtel.

He’ll move in with six families around Australia to develop an understanding of what their lives are like and what the cooking obstacles are. In six half hour episodes he will do meal plans and recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

More information:

There are six common issues that hinder Australians in the kitchen. Hayden researches the lifestyles and nuances of everyday Australians to inspire and create delicious meals in the kitchen.  There’s the ‘skill’s poor’ with Lani, a young Melbourne foodie who eats out more than in; the ‘budget conscious’ with Digby and Daniel,  a couple of struggling students from Geelong; the ‘time poor’ with Kath and Seb, a busy family of 5 from Hammondville; the ‘knowledge poor’ with Chris, a Mine Rescuer and his family from Newcastle; the ‘nutrition poor’ with Lyn and Pete, the Gold Coast empty-nesters and the ‘ideas poor’ with Sally and Peter, cattle and sheep farmers from Armidale.

 Expect a lot of meat as the show is being produced in conjunction with Meat & Livestock Australia, exclusively for Foxtel’s LifeStyle FOOD channel.

September 30, 2014   2 Comments

Masterchef’s Laura Cassai Cookbook Will Be Out For Mother’s Day

This year’s Masterchef runner up, Laura Cassai post reality TV career is going well, she has a cookbook deal as well as some other offers on the table.

In a good interview on Pop Sugar she talks about Masterchef and what life is like for her now. She has dropped out of uni, has a cookbook deal and is contemplating a few other offeres. Also she says she did not get too much help on the show by the judges.

Here are some excerpts but go to Pop Sugar to read the whole thing.

PS: So what have you been up to since the show finished filming?

Laura: A lot! I’m working full time at Restaurant Orana, in the city. I’ve had to wait until the finale had aired until I could get other offers. In the last week-and-a-half I have signed a book deal, so I have a cookbook coming out at Mother’s Day next year, which is really exciting. I’ve been doing a bit of public speaking at a local high school and getting involved in a kitchen garden program. And the upcoming things are cooking demonstrations in Adelaide and stuff like that, and at the moment I’m working on which charity I want to work with. I have a few good deals coming up, so I’m in the process of picking and choosing what I want. There’s a lot going on, actually!

PS: Throughout the series, or maybe towards the end, there were some viewers who thought you received too much help from the judges in some of the challenges. What’s your response to that?

Laura: [Laughs] God, I wish I received more help from the judges! I wish they helped me with other things. I don’t know. I think it’s a really weird comment that a lot of people have said to me. I guess everyone sees it differently, but I don’t feel I got that much help at all, especially towards the end; even in the top six, the judges, I think, just let us go with it to see what we could do on our own without too much help. I think it’s weird how the viewers have seen it in a completely different way. It’s odd.

PS: And there’s editing to take into account; they may have given the same amount of advice to other people, but because they happened to show yours—

Laura: Yeah, exactly. Maybe I was having, for example, like the finale I was having a few breakdowns, and the judges came up to me a few times and put me back in my place. Obviously they were helping me by trying to help me pick myself back up, but you don’t see a lot of stuff, like you just said. A lot of stuff does get edited out, and lots of people got help over the whole series.

PS: And no one wants to see you upset for the whole grand final — it doesn’t make for good TV!

Laura: [Laughs] Exactly. Imagine if I was crying the whole finale in the corner like a little Debbie Downer. I think the relationship I had with the judges, they understood when I needed to be picked up, and they saw me struggling, especially George — I think he understood me really well, and understood where things were going wrong. He just had to come over and say, “Pick yourself up,” and I’d be fine.


August 14, 2014   5 Comments