Entertainment

MasterChef reworks popular recipe

George Calombaris co-hosts MasterChef Australia.
George Calombaris co-hosts MasterChef Australia. Contributed - Network Ten

WITH millions of viewers tuning in to the past three series, MasterChef has solidified itself as a mainstay in Australian primetime TV.

There have been spin-offs, both within the MasterChef brand with MasterChef Jr and Celebrity MasterChef, and through the on-going success of past winners and finalists including Julie Goodwin, Poh Ling Yeow and Justine Schofield.

The fourth series of the reality cooking show starts on Sunday with the new judges' auditions in Melbourne, from which the Top 50, and ultimately the Top 24, will be chosen.

George Calombaris, who returns alongside fellow judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and regular guest judge Matt Moran, said he was looking for passionate cooks, not reality TV hopefuls.

"I want the honesty. I don't want sportsman-like answers because they know they're on TV," he said.

"Not all of them want to be chefs. Some want a van to go around to schools to teach kids how to cook; some want to open up a little shop and make artisan sausages.

"I love that they've come in and thought about what they want to do, not I just want to be on TV.

"I want people who are going to do something with this, like the Pohs, the Julias, the Alvins."

Calombaris said the new series was "refreshed and revitalised".

"We've looked at what we've done good and bad and taken that into consideration," he said.

"We're questioning everything that we do, you know, how can we make it better? Can we change that? We want Australia to fall in love with MasterChef again, like they do every year."

The day I visit the MasterChef set, the contestants are hard at work at their benches during an invention test.

Looming over them is the MasterChef clock, but the trademark black-and-white timepiece seems less imposing in real life than it does on TV.

But, of course, I'm not the one cooking.

The mouth-watering smells that keep wafting up to the balcony make me want to run downstairs and devour something, but we can only watch and salivate - the privilege of tasting is left to the judges' discerning tastebuds.

After the challenge is finished and the clean-up begins, we get a quick tour of the set.

The new and improved pantry is foodie heaven with shelves packed full of perfectly arranged vegies, fruit, meat and spices. I can't help but run my fingers along the crystal curtain which separates the cooking area from the judging area, where the results of the invention test are arranged on a table ready for tasting.

Calombaris said it was important that the various challenges and cook-offs pushed the contestants beyond their comfort zones but, at the same time, didn't set them up to fail.

"There's not going to be a twist where it's like we make it that hard that they just can't do it. It's realistic," he said.

"We want them to succeed, but they have to go through a bit of bitter to get to the sweet, a bit of pain for pleasure."

Calombaris is tight-lipped about this year's celebrity chef visits, but it has been reported that Britain's Jamie Oliver visited the MasterChef set during his visit Down Under.

"The guy's a culinary legend and he wants to be on MasterChef," he said.

"Even as an Aussie that's a nice thing that this person wants to be a part of our show."

MasterChef Australia - Ten - Sunday at 7.30pm

Topics:  george calombaris masterchef masterchef australia reality tv tv show



Council's problems don't stem from inefficiency: Mayor

Clarence Valley Council mayor Jim Simmons.

Community wants more services than we can afford

Kapeen double as Magpies welcome back NRL veteran

GLIMMER OF HOPE: Two solo tries from winger Eathan Kapeen gave Lower Clarence Magpies an early lead in their NRRRL encounter with Cudgen Hornets.

Another tough road trip for Lower Clarence

TAFE graduates out-perform university peers

Students studying the Civil Construction course at the TAFE's Trenayr Campus.

Vocational education the new uni according to McCrindle Rsearch

Local Partners

Bay to star in Hollywood shark thriller ‘Cage Dive’

A great white thriller that had scenes filmed on the Fraser Coast has been picked up by a major US movie studio.

Celebrity sex tapes: Where does all that money go?

Basically, did Paris and Kim earn fortunes from their videos?

Rachael's journey on The Voice comes to an end

KNOCKED OUT: Rachael Noakes performs during her knockout round on The Voice.

Grafton's Rachael Noakes plans to build on momentum of new exposure

Rachael's music dream lives on after The Voice exit

Rachael Noakes performs during her knockout round on The Voice.

GRAFTON singer performs Justin Bieber hit in knockout round.

Cher, 71, and Celine Dion wow world at Billboard Awards

“I’m 71 yesterday and I can do a five-minute plank, OK.”

Judah's return to The Voice stage is a knockout

Judah Kelly performs during his knockout round on The Voice.

QUEENSLAND singer nails Adele hit.

WIN acquires rights to Southern Cross Media television

WIN network coverage

Changes to take effect at end of the month

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

REVEALED: Where it's cheaper to pay off a mortgage than rent

6/190 Ewing Rd, Woodridge, is listed for offers $215,000. Picture: realestate.com.au

Brisbane suburbs where it is cheaper to buy than rent

The hardest place in the state to find a rental property

RENTAL SHORTAGE: Richmond River, Ballina Bar Emigrant Creek Pacific Highway Teven Interchange. Photo Jay Cronan / The Northern Star

Not enough supply to meet insatiable demand

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!