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A Fiesta Of Reality Cooking Shows For 2013 – But Who Will Be On Them?

With reality TV shows in 2012 either being rating bonanzas or tanking badly, next year it looks like Networks are banking on cooking shows to bring home the bacon in 2013.

The popular veteran shows are back in Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules but they are joined by a few more.

First is Masterchef: The Professional which will see professional chefs competing for the title. This is based on a UK show but hopefully the Australian version will be looking at Top Chef when it comes to the format. Rumours of who will host it include Heston Blummenthal and Marco-Pierre White. It will screen on Network TEN.

NINE will have a new show called The Great Australian Bake Off, based on a UK show. This is to find Australia’s best amateur baker. No news on who will host and judge the show as yet. Donna Hay would be a great fit somewhere on the show.

There are rumours that actor Shane Jacobson may be hosting a cooking show for NINE, but this could be another show they have bought the format for called The Taste.

This is the food show equivalent of The Voice where the judge mentors have to pick a cooking team to mentor based on the taste of the dish only. The contestants can be either professionals or home cooks.

The US version of the show has the hottest cast ever on it with Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain and Ludo Lefebvre. (See previous gushing blog post on the show)

Again no word on who will be mentors. However people I would be happy to see on the show would be restaurant critics and judges on Iron Chef Australia Simon Thomsen, and Larissa Dubecki.

Also Christine Mansfield would rock as would Colin Fassnidge, Dan Hong, and Matt Moran.

Network TEN had Recipe For Riches is also on their slate where they are looking for a person with a recipe that can be sold on supermarket shelves. There is no announcement on who will be hosting or judging on the show.

Lifestyle Food are also currently casting for another season of Come Dine With Me Australia. Former model Chloe Maxwell is going to be a contestant but you don’t have to be a celebrity to apply. You don’t necessarily have to be a great cook either.

The one big overseas  format that probably won’t be coming to our screens is Hells Kitchen, where dodgy professional chefs vie for a job in host’s Gordon Ramsay restaurants. If the format did come to Australia George Calombaris would be the perfect host. Firstly he has the restaurants of the calibre required give someone a job, but he is at his best when he is working the pass in challenges on Masterchef Australia. He also has the mix of being a hard arse and humour that would make it work.

It will be interesting to see if there are enough contestants to be on these shows and of course the chefs/cooks/foodies to be judges.


October 10, 2012   9 Comments

Masterchef: The Professionals – Marco Pierre White Could Do With A Break In Australia

Maybe it would be in Marco Pierre White’s interests to host Masterchef: The Professionals if Shine Australia can’t get Heston Blummenthal to sign on the dotted line.

Marco appears to be having a bit of a hard time of it in the UK with his ex-wife turning up to his house and wrecking his car with a child’s scooter, and marking it with blood and nail polish.

Considering they have been separated for a number of years it would be interesting to know what made her so mad. Clearly it has been acrimonious for sometime as they have spent three million pounds in legal fees since the demise of their marriage according to the Telegraph which also outlines the latest incident.

Maybe it is because she had heard that he had said he had never been in love.

In the Sunday Telegraph (hard copy) he said:

“The reality is I’ve never been in love. I was never at one with myself as a person and that’s why I made a lot of wrong decisions.”

“I’d like to think some little vixen will cross my path, who intrigues me, who catches my imagination.”

I am sure there are a ton of Australian women who would be willing to be flambeed by him. However those quotes reminded me a little of the Arnie interview on Sixty Minutes tonight where you just got the feeling that the only people they are capable of having feelings for are themselves.


October 7, 2012   14 Comments

Masterchef: The Professionals – Hopefully The Heston To Host Rumour Is True

You have to wonder what has become of your life when you get excited that a bald guy with spectacles is rumoured to be hosting a reality TV show.

Yes that is right, the story doing the rounds today is Heston Blummenthal is rumoured to being going to host the Australian version of Masterchef:The Professionals.

Hopefully this is not a spurious rumour as it would be a coup for TEN if he agrees to do the show.

The Herald Sun is reporting that Heston is the top of the wish list to host the show which will see Professional chefs compete for Masterchef title. It is rumoured the show will be on early in 2013 on TEN.

The article states:

And spies say the network is close to securing the hosting services of British food maestro Heston Blumenthal who was a standout cameo during the most recent season of MasterChef.

The bald-headed, bespectacled superstar is understood to be the network’s first choice for host despite producers chasing several other high-profile candidates including Marco Pierre-White, Gordon Ramsay and Curtis Stone.

Marco Pierre-White or even Curtis would also be acceptable, but Gordon Ramsay is is a tad over-exposed.

What will be interesting to see who will be judging on the show with the host.

The show will see new stars emerge on the food scene and the eating establishments these chefs work at should see an increase in business.

This show will be compulsory viewing on a crowded reality viewing schedule.

Masterchef: The Professional’s to be on Network TEN in 2013.

October 5, 2012   15 Comments

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.

September 29, 2012   7 Comments

Hayden Quinn TV Show Snippet And Other Food Show News

Masterchef’s Hayden Quinn has been travelling overseas shooting a new food/travel series. Above is a little glimpse of it. No news yet of whether it has been picked up by a Network.

The problem is that Anthony Bourdain does these shows so well that it is hard for these other guys to emulate it. Maybe he will get the younger food fan to watch.

Also Syke and Alana’s new show, A Taste Of Travel, which has started on TEN on Saturday afternoons. Has anyone watched it and if so what did you think? Same goes for Aaron Harvie’s new cooking show, Love To Share, has anyone watched it?

In other food show news there is the The Great Food Truck Race screening on ABC2 on Friday nights at 7.30pm and repeated on Wednesday night’s at 10.20pm. It is series two.

The premise of the show is eight specialty food trucks, compete against each other for the next seven weeks in different cities. Tyler Florence is the host and the winners prize is $100,000.

Also the UK Masterchef is currently showing on Lifestyle Food at 7.30pm weeknights.

Also Wednesday nights at 6.00pm is the UK show The Restaurant on ABC2 with Raymond Blanc as the host. It has received good feedback from the critics that matter aka Reality Ravings readers.

September 20, 2012   12 Comments