Have you been binge-watching a lot of MasterChef Australia during a lockdown? Don’t worry, and you’re likely not the only one. The popular reality cooking show is one of the most well known culinary competitions globally, and the coveted title has spawned many versions in different countries- the US, UK, Canada, Australia, India, etc. However, there is a clear winner – the MasterChef of all MasterChefs – MasterChef Australia. It is no surprise that the lovable contestants make anyone a big fan of the show. So much so that the next time you find yourself fretting over what to buy your MasterChef wannabe friend as a gift, consider a Wusthof knife set to hone their kitchen skills or a MasterChef apron you can easily cop on Amazon. 

MasterChef is so much more than competing for the glamorous title. The challenges, the calibre of recipes, the contestants themselves, etc., add so much more personality to the show. Read on to find out why this version beat all the other countries and why it is the fan favourite. 

The judges 

Recent seasons have seen a droop in viewer counts as many began to find the presence of long-time MasterChef AU judges Goerge Colombaris, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan monotonous. Starting with Season 12 onwards, the three men retired from judging on the show, and a new set of judges were brought in: 

  • Andy Allen: Season 4 Winner and TV Chef 
  • Melissa Leong: Notable food writer, critic and cookbook editor 
  • Jock Zonfrillo: Scottish celebrity chef, head of indigenous ingredient-focused restaurant Orana

The new faces at the judging panel saw a sharp increase in viewer rates and put the show back on the map, and boosted its popularity among a wider audience. Not only is the female representation a welcome change in the male-dominated profession, but also the unique chemistry between the trio, especially with their different backgrounds and specialities (notably Andy, for having competed in, and won, a previous season of MasterChef), adds so many more layers to the show. Their jolly attitudes, witty and playful banter and comical enthusiasm are almost like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise routine, veteran kitchen. 

The Challenges

Until Season 11, the show was predictable in its challenges and outcomes. So later, participants were better aware of the “schedule” of the show and could have an additional advantage concerning managing stress and surprises better. 

However, with Season 12, the contestants were all previous participants who hadn’t won the titles from their respective seasons (thus termed, ‘S12 Back To Win’). This special season meant that the pressure was amplified due to the experience of all the chefs in the kitchen, so the challenges had to be adapted to suit the more accomplished and adept contestants. This is one of the most endearing aspects of the show as the challenges keep the chefs on their toes and the viewers, adding the right amount of drama, thrill, and laughter to the mix. 

The contestants

Lastly, it is hard to ignore the quality of behaviour and mutual respect seen by the contestants on this show. The Australian version undoubtedly has the most well-mannered, talented, polite and unproblematic personalities on the show. The professionalism they bring with them, coupled with their unique characters, makes the show so much more exciting and appealing to watch. 

Ultimately, it is an absolute pleasure watching these highly skilled individuals navigate tough team challenges, stressful eliminations and pressure tests, comical recreations of dishes and fascinating creativity and originality. Coupled with the highest quality kitchen appliances ( e.g. a Wusthof knife set), fresh, local produce and the lush garden, the contestants and viewers are promised a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the magical MasterChef kitchens. 

Avatar for Vinay Kumar
Student. Coffee ninja. Devoted web advocate. Subtly charming writer. Travel fan. Hardcore bacon lover


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