Masterchef returns Monday night in what might be the most anticipated series in the history of the show.
Thanks to the current lockdown, television and streaming numbers are higher than ever and a high-profile show like Masterchef is sure to attract a big rating.
This series is called ‘Back To Win’ and features contestants from previous seasons who have impressed the judges and fans. There are plenty of changes, however, with new judges and new protocols put in place give the concerns over social distancing and sanitation.
Gone are Matt’s cravats and outlandish suits, George’s ‘Boom Book Shake The Room’ declarations and Gary’s smooth hostings and sharp criticisms.
In are three new judges, who all bring their flair and experience to the table.
Andy Allen: Won the fourth season of Masterchef in 2012 and is the head chef at Three Blue Ducks in Sydney. The first Masterchef contestant to be awarded a Chef’s Hat.
Melissa Leong: Freelance food and travel writer who has written six cookbooks and co-hosts ‘The Chef’s Line’ on SBS.
Jock Zonfrillo: Scottish-born chef who worked under Marco Pierre White in London and moved to Australia in 2000. Owner of Bistro Blackwood and Orana restaurants in Adelaide and has appeared as a guest chef on Masterchef.
The Ramsay Factor
It’s no coincidence that the great Gordon Ramsay is front and centre in the promos for the first show of the season. The irascible but likeable Scottish chef and TV personality will play a major role in the first week. It’s a smart move by Channel Ten given the fact that the public may take a little time to warm to the new judges. And Ramsay’s f-bombs will undoubtedly bring some entertainment value.
-Contestants were told to wear gloves while selecting pantry items and handling shared equipment.
-Off-set locations cut from filming schedule, as were guest appearances from international chefs due to Australia’s travel restrictions.
-Judges were ordered to stand metres away from participants and each other.
-In the second half of the season, individual portions have replaced shared plates.
Poh Ling Yeow: Arguably the highest profile competitor, Poh finished second to Julie Goodwin in 2009, the show’s first season. She’s gone on to write cookbooks, host various TV shows and be an integral part of the Masterchef family. (Favourite as Outright Winner at $3.50)
Callum Hann: 2010 Runnerup, won Masterchef All Stars in 2012, teaches cooking and does volunteer work in Adelaide, part of the Thankyou team, has just written first cookbook. ($5.50 as Outright Winner)
Laura Sharrad: Runnerup in 2014. Formerly Laura Cassai, she married Max Sherrad, who is a regular guest judge. They run Nido Pasta together in South Australia. First job in the industry was under Jock Zonfrillo. ($5.50 and second favourite as Outright Winner)
Hayden Quinn: Season Three contestant who has gone on to feature in numerous television programs – ‘Taste of Australia,’ ‘Family Food Fight’ – and write two cookbooks. Also an ambassador for various products and active in charity work. ($7.50 as Outright Winner)
Tessa Boersma: Runnerup from the most recent series, the criminal statistician from Queensland had a short-lived stint at ARC Dining, Brisbane’s number one restaurant. ($7.00 as Outright Winner)
Chris Badenoch (Season 1)
Courtney Roulston (Season 2)
Dani Venn (Season 3)
Ben Milbourne (Season 4)
Amina Elshafeli (Season 4)
Lynton Tapp (Season 5)
Emelia Jackson (Season 6)
Tracy Collins (Season 6)
Reynold Poernomo (Season 7)
Rose Adam (Season 7)
Harry Foster (Season 8)
Ben Ungerman (Season 9)
Sarah Tiong (Season 9)
Brendan Pang (Season 10)
Sarah Clare (Season 10)
Khanh Ong (Season 10)
Reece Hignell (Season 10)
Simon Toohey (Season 11)