Last night, Network Ten hosted Masterchef Australia’s hotly anticipated launch event, serving up a tantalising tasting plate of the delicious feast to come.

Guests were treated to a preview of this third season showcasing a smorgasbord of legendary food names including Heston Blumenthal, Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein, Maggie Beer and Adriano Zumbo among others. Additionally, this year’s Top 50 contestants were announced, and most notably Queensland has double the number of cooks this year compared to last year. There is also a lifeguard, a fighter pilot and an orchestra musician competing this year, along with one person who made it through to the Top 50 in the first season and is determined to make it further this time around.

At Sydney’s MasterChef kitchen headquarters, judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris welcomed 300 guests including this season’s new regular judge Matt Moran. MasterChef Australia alumni Julie Goodwin, Justine Schofield, Adam Liaw and Callum Hann among others joined chef’s Maggie Beer, Neil Perry, Justin North, Adriano Zumbo and faces from a host of Network TEN shows to rub shoulders with key sales sponsors and the country’s media.

The gauntlet has been thrown down for this Season’s MasterChef Australia from the very first challenge on Sydney’s Cockatoo Island when a giant one tonne mystery box arrives suspended from a helicopter. Other high octane challenges see MasterChef travelling to the pit of the Sunrise Dam mine in the West Australian outback, two kilometres out to sea on the longest jetty in the Southern hemisphere in Busselton, plus heading to the vineyards of Margaret River. Rick Stein meets contestants for an amazing masterclass in Kuala Lumpur, and closer to home the contestants cook on the beautiful beaches of Cronulla.

The Top 50 contestants chosen to cook off for the prestigious title of Masterchef Australia 2011 include;

  • 12 contestants from NSW (last year 15) including a DJ and a life guard from Sydney’s Northern beaches
  • 14 contestants from VIC (last year 13) in an even male and female split including a graphic designer, a farmer and two publicists
  • Double the number of contestants from QLD with 12 (six last year) including a mum of five, a fruit and veg salesman and a 20 year old nursing student
  • Five contestants from WA (four last year) including a never seen before profession for MasterChef
    Australia, that of a fighter pilot
  • Seven contestants from SA (last year 10) including an award winning wine maker.

The event was also shared live over social media, via Facebook and Twitter. Over 500 fans ‘attended’ the launch event online, and were treated to uploaded photos and live twitter interviews from the three judges. At the end of the event, the latest promo for this season was also released…


MasterChef Australia 2011 – Starts Sun 01/05 7:30pm, Ch10.