Mastercheffers into the week two pressure cooker
They’ve cleared the first hurdle – the croquembouche – now the MasterChef All Stars have to survive 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 last week.
Team Yellow, season three’s shining lights, trumped the challenge to win money for charity, but Hayden Quinn knows there’s no living on past dishes in this kitchen.
Quinn and his 11 cohorts didn’t think twice about venturing into the MasterChef kitchen again for All Stars, even if, for Quinn, he was in the MasterChef house as recently as a year ago for six months.
“It’s great sharing the house with people who have gone before us and getting to know them,” Quinn says. “There are obviously still nerves when you hit the kitchen, but the tone is relaxed and fun. And I’m learning again – every time you are in the kitchen with a different group of people there are news 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 her new show, which airs on Channel Ten.
“I literally I 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.
“It’s like a mini holiday – but slightly stressful when we get into the kitchen for challenges.”
Aaron Harvie entered MasterChef season two in an attempt to get out of his old job and find a place in the food industry. “This time it’s about changing someone else’s life and doing it for charity,” he says. “The first time I was in there
I equated it to like a prison that we were all trying to stay in. Instead of escaping we were fighting to stay.
“This time around it’s a very different feeling because we’ve all been through it and know what to expect. It’s a really good vibe.”
While the three 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.
“Jonathon Daddia, hands down. He’s an absolute crack-up,” says Quinn.
“He’s a fun guy,” adds Schofield. “Sometimes you’re so busy laughing at him you forget how good a cook he is.
“But competition-wise it’s really anyone’s game on any one day. That’s how tight the competition is.” MasterChef All Stars Sunday, 7.30pm, Monday - Thursday,
EDITOR Debbie Schipp LAYOUT Angela Short REVIEWS Debbie Schipp, Rosie Squires, Briana Domjen, Taylor Auerbach and Zoe Nauman COVER MasterChef All Stars Hayden Quinn, Justine Schofield and Aaron Harvie NSW ADVERTISING SALES EXECUTIVE Vanessa Zorzi (02)...