Celebrity Masterchef Australia: Everything to know about the show

You've seen the teasers, you know some of the celebrities and you are super excited for the launch of Celebrity Masterchef this Sunday. But do you have all the inside goss on just how the show will work this year?

Fear not, as we have all the knowledge you need to impress family and friends with as you sit down to watch the show together.

The cast

There are ten contestants competing this year to be crowned the best celebrity chef in Australia and they come from a wide range of backgrounds including TV, sports, music and fashion.

The  cast of 2021 'Celebrity MasterChef'
The all-star cast of this year's 'Celebrity MasterChef'. Photo: Network 10 (Network 10)

The ten are: soccer player Archie Thompson, 42; TV and radio host Chrissie Swan, 47; fashion designer Collette Dinnigan, 55; Singer Dami Im, 32, Singer; Comedian Dilruk Jayasinha, 36; former Olympian Ian Thorpe, 38; Offspring actor Matt Le Nevez, 42; AFL player Nick Riewoldt, 38; Packed To The Rafters actress Rebecca Gibney, 56 and cooking progeny Tilly Ramsay, 19.


Who are the judges?

Last year saw a change of judges for MasterChef Australia with original hosts and judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston being replaced by series four MasterChef Australia winner Andy Allen, food critic Melissa Leong, and chef Jock Zonfrillo who continue to host the show across all the formats.

Celebrity MasterChef Australia hosts and judges Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen
Celebrity MasterChef Australia hosts and judges Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen. Photo: Network 10 (Network 10)

Originally an electrician, since winning MasterChef Australia in 2012, Andy is now a chef full-time and co-owns the Three Blue Ducks restaurants. He is also the first former contestant to win a coveted Australian Good Food Guide 'chef’s hat'. So if anyone knows how hard it can be for the contestants, it's Andy!

Melissa worked in digital advertising, but her love of food led her to start a career change as a freelance food critic for publications such as Time Out Australia. She started out in TV hosting the cooking competition show A Chef's Line on SBS as well as making guest appearances on other food shows. Having also co-edited the bestseller The Great Australian Cookbook, she is the perfect addition to the show

Scottish born chef Jock has worked as a chef in some of the best restaurants in the UK and Australia including Gordon Ramsay's three Michelin starred restaurant The Aubergine and alongside Marco Pierre White. In 2018, he was not only named Australia's hottest chef but his restaurant at the time also won the Good Food Guide's Australian Restaurant of the Year.

Where it's filmed

It is totally understandable that MasterChef Australia would be filmed in Australia's food capital of Melbourne.

MasterChef Australia 2021
The set of this year's Celebrity MasterChef Australia. Photo: Network 10 (Network 10)

Both the regular version of the show and this upcoming celebrity series were filmed in Centenary Hall at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

The hall is "Soundproofed and air-conditioned" with a purpose-built studio that includes a "fully functioning commercial kitchen, boucherie, herb garden, locker room, wine reception area, 120-seat restaurant and pantry," according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

As a result of the pandemic and lockdowns, friends and family are not allowed to come along to support and cheer the celebrities on and they had to implement tough rules.

"MasterChef Australia has always employed the highest standards of food safety and hygiene, and we now have an even keener focus on that," a production spokesperson told HuffPost Australia. "All recommendations outlined by Federal and State government health authorities are being followed."

Rebecca Gibney on Celebrity MasterChef Australia.
Rebecca Gibney prepares to have her dish assessed on Celebrity MasterChef Australia. Photo: Network 10 (Network 10)
Celebrity MasterChef Australia 2021
Celebrity MasterChef Australia contestants. Photo: Network 10 (Network 10)

The precautions include social distancing, hand sanitising, closed sets and individual tasting plates for each judge.

How the competition works

Like the normal series of MasterChef Australia, the celebrities are challenged to cook dishes and compete against each other to make it through to the final and the chance to win $250,000 for the charity of their choice.

Celebrity MasterChef starts Sunday, October 10 at 7.30 on 10.

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