Masterchef Confessions

I’m watching with great interest the number of people visiting my site lately after Master Chef Australia information. There’s been searches for masterchef auditions, what to cook for masterchef auditions, masterchef judges, masterchef and spam, spam masterchef and spam, spam spam spam masterchef and… oh wait, this isn’t monty python.

Apparently a lot of people want to know about Masterchef, and I am definitely one of them. So i’ve taken it upon myself to collate a little information from all the various visitors to my site in regards to the audition process, their impression of the fairness or otherwise of how the selections are happening, and any other little tid bits of information I can gather.

The score so far:

Out of the 7000 (or so) people who applied to be on the show, roughly 100 were selected from each state.
From the 100 or so who turned up to the Masterchef auditions, about 20 or so got through to the second day of competing. From those 20 or so people who made it to day 2 in each state, a final 50 were selected overall to go to Sydney for the semi finals.

Those semi finals will be filmed and are due to start on Monday next week the 9th of Feb.

Some stories coming out of the auditions are that a lot of people got through based solely on their stories, and who had little cooking ability. In my personal experience, I’d have to say this isn’t true. The people I met at the Perth auditions were all great people, who had as much love of food and cooking ability as I do, and I would have been very happy for any of them to go through.

I’ve also been talking to other people who did make it through, and can confirm that they are not all of the model stereotype, and did not resort to tricks or sob stories to make themselves seem more interesting in order to get onto the show. The people I’ve spoken to have also displayed an amazing level of knowledge of food and flavours, and I will be more than happy if they make it onto the show eventually.

The word from the audition floor is that seasoning and cooking things properly were big downfalls for a lot of people. Risotto was a hard sell, as were under seasoned dishes. Word on the judges is that George was very tough, Gary a bit dull, and Matt quite friendly. But then aren’t all Matt’s :)

Of course, there’s no denying that reality TV brings out the worst in a lot of people. The grand standing, the gregarious personalities, the over the top fakeness and willingness to do or say pretty much anything to get yourself recognised is all to tempting for some. I’ve heard plenty of interesting stories in the comments of the last post for that.

My two cents is that yes, this is reality TV, it’s going to happen. With Big Brother not airing this year, there will be a lot of disappointed teenagers and voyeuristic housewives looking for their reality fix. Masterchef needs to be the thing that fills that void. The producers are thus compelled to find personalities that fit whatever mould they think is needed to make the show entertaining. How interesting would it be if there were a bunch of food geeks sitting around a room discussing how to best sous vide a fillet of salmon ? (Ok, actually that would be quite interesting…but that probably just means I’m a food geek).

I’m still going to be watching the show of course. I’ve been through enough of the process now to be very interested in how it all turns out. And if a certain mystery person wants to send me a secret wink when they do get on the show, they may just make my day.

109 thoughts on “Masterchef Confessions”

  1. Everyone chill… No one need take a knife to there head and carve just yet!

    Let us all remember, in the great words of our Lord Cuboda

    “many have walked, many have stood and waited but it is only he who truly embraces the onion that will be given the wisdom, for he who chops finest will be the first to taste the clove and then and only then will he know the righteous path to the cooking of the pig, for with this knowledge, and only then will he be armed to face the light and drink from the golden cup that once was blessed by the one true master CUBODA”


  2. congratulations to the top 20…well done

    by the way Cupoda is a small island of the coast of Japan

  3. I heard a rumour that the internship is the restaurant of your choice anywhere in the world!

    Can anybody confirm that?

  4. Very glad Matt, that you decided to reign in the childish and churlish nasty comments by a few. I have really been enjoying this site which I have stumbled across…..until then. It would be so nice if those that are obviously hurt by being dismissed, learn a bit about what a game is all about…that there WILL be a winner and there WILL be those that don’t win…that is…LOSE. There is definitely something to be said for losing graciously. Isn’t it all about how we experience things? Hopefully all the ‘losers’ get over themselves, and get on with their lives. Then they will be able to just kick back, turn on the telly and enjoy, and hopefully be open to actually learn something from watching what should be a really fun informative TV reality cooking show.
    I’ve never seen a Master Chef show so am really looking forward to it, especially after having followed this site. Good luck to all of you that are in….Have fun and cook your little hearts out !!!

  5. Smoked too much: I can confirm that it sounds like a load of crap. How would they be able to offer an internship anywhere in the world ? That just logistically makes no sense, I can’t see someone strolling into eBulli, Fat Duck, or the French Laundry and flipping pans (or spheres).

    Any more specifics on the prizes would be good though. I’ve heard a few things so far, but nothing substantial.

  6. Hi Matt,
    I’m Sharnee…..Brand spanking new to blogging. Loving it…but didn’t know food could get so bitchy.
    Fab photos and recipes anyhow. Enjoying the new inspiration!

  7. I glad the meanies have been told to stop it now.
    I am really looking forward to seeing the show – i just want to know who got in from Perth! Matt, I dont know if i saw u on the Friday?? Have u ever thought of making your own recipe books? Are u a pro photographer?

  8. It seems to me that they’re modelling this show more on the American “Top Chef” rather than the English “Masterchef”, what with the house deal, and the tasks like chopping onions.

  9. One thing I found from watching the UK version, was that people who cooked simple dishes properly tended to do really well.

  10. Anyone get a read of that hreeald sun article about masterchef this week? Apparently i got a mention in it and i would love to have a read of it. So if you do find it, please post it on this shizzle.

  11. Hi This Coories wack!!! I posted the article on this site on Feb 16th – just scroll up! Are you referring to the truffle comment?

  12. Sharnee: Welcome to the world of blogging. Careful you don’t get lost on this page, it’s a long one now :)

    Bimmy: I don’t know if I saw you at the audition either… but then I look fairly generic as you can tell on my About page :) I’m not sure I’m ready to start making recipe books yet, and no i’m not a pro photographer, but I do a bit of casual photography work around town for people who like my stuff.

    Linda: I’m getting that impression to. The drama factor seems to be a lot higher than the UK show…

    Big Fan: I guess we’ll have to see what happens. I’m hoping those people with a real love of cooking and some great skills get through, and show how simple wholesome cooking can be really good.

    Wack boy: Good to see a couple of people from my group got through to the final 50, shame about the french toast, but keep it up mate, you got talent.

  13. Hi Guys,

    Just a few suggestions, the house will probably not be seen on TV, on assumption, it will be the same as Idol & Dance where contestants are housed in privacy. I think that people are confusing the house with the top chef show, which from my experience in the top 50, the only thing similar is the format of challanges, as face it they are more TV friendly, at least for Australian prime time viewing.

    Also, the restaurant intership prize is a bit far fetched, from my recollection, it is my belief that the only 2 people in the top 20 who I reckon could actually walk into a restaurant and complete an internship at a top restaurant. Hoping to hear more and good to see some fellow season 1 contestants on here

  14. I think it’s going to air in April or May, not sure though. I hope they let the world know soon !!

  15. Hi Matt,
    Now I’m wondering too if you know when the show will go to air. Any of your secret ‘contacts’ can clue us all in ???

  16. Got a thank you letter for the top 50 week… Anyhway, it mentioned that it will be air in April. No exact date though.

  17. my friend is currently in ‘lockdown’ in Sydney for the top 20. They told me it would go to air early May, the day after The Biggest Loser finishes. I just wanted to know if anyone knew anymore goss!

  18. youtube australian materchef 2009

    2 teasers from fremantle media.

    Show clearly what they were looking for!!!

  19. managed to sneak a peek though….. I agree… shows clearly what they are looking for… ouch…..

  20. I saw a promo on TV for Masterchef, and it is a very stylish and exciting tempter. Now looking forward more than ever to the actual show.

  21. I’m looking for a friend I made whilst in the Top 50 week. I lost my mobile and hence all my contacts. We had dinner plans…sorry, but had no way of contacting you! I’m hoping you check this site out (my last resort) and send me a text so I can get back in touch with you. I will be back in your town over Easter and hope to catch up then. :)

  22. oooohhhh how wonderfully romantic! All efforts should be made to find Dulce’s friend. But Dulce, what happens if they are in lockdown now?

  23. dulce de leche- are you from perth and looking for Melbourne friend? fruit + chocolate girl?

  24. A few thoughts: By now many will have seen the promos for Masterchef” on network 10. I fear that my biggest worries for the show may be coming true… Why does Australian television feel it needs to sanitize and over style everything? The contestants bear no resemblance to those I stood next to in the auditions etc. Sure a little Hair and Make-up work doesn’t go astray but these fantastic amateur chefs now look like they have just stepped off the set of “the secret life of us”… And what’s with the beaded curtain and acrobatics? It seems that food will be forced to take a back seat as the cult of personality is forced into the limelight!!! If the producer’s creed is that “The Australian general Public” can see through BS then they may well be struggling to push this boat out. Why couldn’t they have embraced the highly successful UK model where it seems personality and looks give way to food and passion?? Imagine my horror when today I peel back the pages of “Real Living” May addition to see a double page spread with a model holding a golf club with the bi-line “Could a pro golfer out cook a French chef?” Now, not to disclose anything… I am pretty sure he is neither a golfer or a contestant…why when you may well have the real deal in the competition would you chose to use a model? I am afraid to say that this is fairly emblematic of the entrenched attitude. I so want this to work for all the contestants involved (and believe it or not even the Judges!), but…. is this seemingly all pervasive tendency for over-styling and superficiality going to turn viewers off. Fingers crossed that passion and food win out over plastic hair and bleached teeth!!!

  25. i think the chefs do have the power to place the winner in well respected kitchens…Maby not as respected as ebulli or tet suyas, but when i made it to the top 50, they said to me “obviously you cant win, your too young to own or opperate your own restraurant. What would you expect?”

    I said that if i did win i would like to work for a brilliant chef…not necessarily a celeb chef, i mentioned maby rick stine or neil perry. and they said “if you do win, you wouldnt mind going to work for rick stein in his Padstow restaurant would you?”

    so im pretty sure they wont get a restaurant but perhaps a job with some of the worlds finest.

  26. I just saw an individual promo on ch 10 for masterchef. Some guy who is a labourer, and really ‘needs’ this show. Blah blah blah. No real mention of food. Just a whole lot of reality tv sob story. BUGGER. I was really looking forward to this show… sigh…

  27. Having visited the above forum it is evident there is a groundswell of disenchantment for this Personality driven “cooking” show, from my intimate experience I can assure punters that this show was not, is not and will not be about the food! I know that contestants got through with scant regard for even the basics of cooking, whilst others deemed not to fit the mould but who could cook were left in the wings, wondering why?? I know that the winner will be a great amature chef of that we can be sure its just about the dross that are there to make up the number and fit the bill for what they think will be good TV and who are in target demographic… Its sad that they appear not to have had the ability to disseminate what Joe Public would actually like to derive from this style of show… But hey I might be wrong!

  28. Being one of the Top 50 who did not make it through to the final 20, knowing my cooking skills should have got me through ( and I think I have plenty of character )…… I can only hope that the show is a complete flop, so that the producers can feel the way I did when I went home on that Friday….. Sorry….. but its true…. Of course I will be watching the show to see how the friends I made went on in the show, but to the judges and people trying to make money from the show, I hope that the outcome proves to them that you should stick to skills and facts rather than drama….. and stop messing with people who really want to have a go……

  29. Cafe Princess,

    Masterchef is Fraudulent….many of the contestants are fakes & ringins

    It’s just Big Brother style famewhores wanting attention…..if there’s more than a couple genuine cooks amongst them, I’ll stop eating Maccas!

  30. You people are clearly jealous of those fortunate to have made it to the top 20. I have friends that made it through and I know that they are genuinely there for cooking. Nobody is there purely for the money. From what ive heard from the contestants who are there working hard to improve their skills, you are all very wrong.

  31. Cafe Princess,

    There, you go on about degrading Top 20 contestants when you yourself, thrive on the biggest load of bull-shit. If there is anyone who needs a career change, it’s you.

  32. I find it hard to understand that the show has not aired yet and there are still so many sour grapes out there. Of course a lot of the final 20 MUST have had a life, a profession, a passion, before Masterchef. So if there is an EX pro golfer, an artist, whatever, for goodness sakes, if you’re too upset for not being selected…don’t watch ! and get on with your own lives ! It would be a lot nicer if you could somehow see the good in others, maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn something !

  33. I do see good in others…. all except the producers and judges of this show…..
    Just saw one of the advertisements from one of the contestants on his second audition day ( the cooking one ). He didnt make it to the top 50. They have rubbished him in the commercial and I can only question again the integrity behind the show…… all for drama which they think sells…..

  34. The undertone to these comments is that people feel betrayed by the producers for picking sensational contestants over talented chefs.. but is that really a surprise given its a reality tv show.. which you all knew right from the start didn’t you?

    when did the producers ever say it was only about cooking? obviously entertainment counts for a great deal as it won’t grab ratings otherwise, and everyone knows sensationalism sells.

    i agree the producers make ‘out-there’ contestants a higher priority than great chefs.. because they’re GOOD at their jobs & they know we’ll tune in to see what the people get up to..

    but why is that a surprise to anyone? surely it was to be expected right from the start? its actually NOT a cooking show, its another typical reality show which is trying to splice things up by adding in a cooking element.

    you all had unrealistic expectations right from the start..

  35. Unrealistic expectations or perhaps just keen fans of Masterchef UK?

  36. I think the producers/directors and channel ten should have done a little more investigating on the Top 20 contestants or perhaps it was their intention to have an ‘actress’ on the show!!! I find it interesting that one of the Top 20 was in an Australian movie with Toni Collette. The movie is..Hey Hey its Ester Blueburger! So much for wanting to portray ‘real characters.’ The show is a farce! And, no this isn’t a bitter contestant that didn’t make it. This is purely an avid fan of the Masterchef program that cannot fathom the hypocrisy of what Channel ten and the producers claim is an opportunity for budding, raw, amateur talent to shine in the kitchen. Please, this show is purely about ratings and creating a dramatic element! Well, they can certainly achieve that with an actress on board!!

  37. So what if she was an actress. Most people did have real jobs before they tried out. You people obviously are not good at handling rejection. I made it to the top 50 & don’t have issues or gripes about the process.

  38. Well good on you tofu girl… I am happy to hear you can handle rejection! I think most people are just commenting on the process… like say for instance ummm making a vegeterian have to go through the ordeal of having to look and smell “… all that meat”!!!! As regards the actress, make-up arist, movie star and aspiring chef she seems unsure of what direction she wants to go in or maybe its just that she wants to be on the box… and so perhaps the judges werent quite as good as they thought they were in regards to “weeding out those who just wanted to be on television and selecting those with a real passion” question for me would be is food really her passion???

  39. I am sure that we all know by now that the judges have no say in the decision process at all….. As long as money goes in their pockets they seem happy to allow the producers and staff behind the cameras and televison screens to process the “great drama that is about to unfold”….. Otherwise how else did two contestants make the top 20… one who infused a pork chop with butane gas and the other that thought a garnish of a cabbage leaf with melted chocolate would go well with the pork chop…. Please….. Top 20?!!! the other 7000 contestants who bothered to apply would be cringing so why not the judges?

  40. Ok so clearly I am not going to reply to any of these comments directly because it’s not about me anymore and I lost interest in the debate around 30 comments in.

    What I will say is a combination of what other people are saying.

    Who really cares what motivation people had before they went on the show ? and what they are intending to do if they win ?

    I don’t particularly want to be a chef, but would have been more than happy to go on the show and be able to showcase my love of food and see where it took me on the road towards working in the industry in some capacity. Be it in writing, reviewing, consulting… there is a hell of a lot more to the food and hospitality industry than just what happens in the kitchen, and the winners of Masterchef UK have proven this. To date (after a few dalliances in professional kitchens) they’ve all gone into other food related areas. Some writing cook books, one opened a cooking school. To my knowledge – none of them are cheffing full time.

    Pretty much everyone who entered the show did so on the basis of knowing about the UK series and hoping it would be somewhere along those lines. Of course Fremantle in their infinite wisdom have gone with a completely different format for the Australian version in order to try and maximize the drama and add enough reality for the Big brother fans who’ve been left out in the dark this year.

    I know a few of the people who’ve made it through to the final 50 and now the final 20 and I think they’re both talented and going into it with the right intentions… To showcase their cooking and bring their love of food to the world.

    The producers have picked the people they thought would look best on TV and who they think will have interesting enough stories to make people want to watch. Whether they can all cook or not seems to be besides the point.

    Personally if anyone is to blame for sensationalism or lack of integrity in anything to do with this show, it will be the producers. Not the contestants, so save your accusations of attention seeking and posturing for the producers who can and will manipulate the contestent, judges, and the format to get what they want out of it.

    Anyway… not long now til we see it all unfold, and whether the gamble has paid off. I’ll still be watching.

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