Knives are out
There’s an old saying – if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. But a selfless dozen past Masterchef cooks will sweat it out in a second tour of duty as All Stars, writes Debbie Schipp
THEY’VE cleared the first hurdle – the croquembouche. Now the MasterChef
All Stars must survive five nights a week of whatever challenges producers throw at them.
From tonight, the shining lights of three seasons of MasterChef Australia have their reputations on the line five nights a week as
MasterChef All Stars hits top speed. The chosen 12 – season one’s Justine Schofield, Poh Ling Yeow, Chris Badenoch and Julie Goodwin; season two’s Aaron Harvie, Jonathan Daddia, Marion Grasby and Callum Hann; and season three’s Kumar Pereira, Dani Venn, Hayden Quinn and Kate Bracks – were reintroduced in to the kitchen last week with a croquembouche challenge to get them on their toes.
The shining lights of Team Yellow ( season three) trumped the challenge to win money for charity, but Hayden Quinn knows as well as any MasterChef there’s no dining out on past dishes in this kitchen.
Quinn and his 11 cohorts didn’t think twice about accepting an invite into the
MasterChef kitchen for All Stars , despite the fact Quinn hadn’t long been out of the
MasterChef house. ‘‘ Yes we’re back in the house which is a bit bizarre, but for me it’s like a second home,’’ Quinn says.
‘‘ I was in there a year ago for six months. It was a long stint, so it’s familiar territory.
‘‘ It’s great sharing the house with people that have gone before us and getting to know them. You spend a lot of time together when you’re shooting a television show.’’
Quinn says MasterChef All Stars is ‘‘ a totally different vibe to the first time in’’.
‘‘ There are obviously still nerves when you hit the kitchen, but the tone of the whole thing is relaxed and fun,’’ he says.
‘‘ And I’m learning again every time you are in the kitchen with a different group of people there are new tastes, new smells, and new tricks you can master.’’
But don’t mistake camaraderie for a lack of competition.
‘‘ Put any of us in a competitive situation and we want to take it out,’’ Quinn says.
For season one’s Justine Schofield, the return was worth taking just two days off after completing the latest series of her own show, Everyday Gourmet, which airs on Channel 10. ‘‘ I literally got off filming 90 episodes of
Everyday Gourmet then had a couple of days to pack my bags for this,’’ she says.
‘‘ Having a second chance of cooking in this crazy kitchen was irresistible.’’
Almost as irresistible, it seems, as the delicious cooking smells that come out of the MasterChef house when the All Stars finish filming each night.
‘‘ We have the dream pantry that has everything you can possibly imagine, so as much as we’re exhausted after filming all day, we still have the time to sit around the table and have a nice dinner most nights,’’ Schofield says.
‘‘ We are constantly comparing recipes, learning, bouncing off each other. It’s like a mini holiday but slightly stressful when we get into the kitchen for challenges.’’
Aaron Harvie entered MasterChef to change his life. Now he’s relishing the chance to change someone else’s.
‘‘ For me, coming in the first time was all about getting out of my old job and finding a place in the food industry,’’ Harvie says.
‘‘ This time it’s about changing someone else’s life and doing it for charity.’’ Harvie welcomed the return to the
MasterChef house. ‘‘ The first time I was in there I equated it to like a prison that we were all trying to stay in,’’ he laughs. ‘‘ This time around it’s a very different feeling because we’ve all been through it and know what to expect.
‘‘ We’ve chosen to be there for a different reason – it’s a really good vibe.’’
While the All Stars can’t agree on a winner – although they say season two’s Marion Grasby is an awesome talent – they are unanimous on who is most entertaining in the kitchen.