MasterChef ex-judge: Gary Mehigan 'didn't watch' new season

Gillian Wolski
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

Former MasterChef judge Gary Mehigan has opened up about the cooking show’s latest season which saw a new trio of expert foodies replace him and his co-stars, George Calombaris and Matt Preston.

The British-born chef revealed that he didn’t tune in to see how incoming hosts Melissa Leong, Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo got on.

Gary Mehigan has opened up about the latest season of MasterChef. Photo: Channel 7.

“I got asked recently have I watched any of the new series and I genuinely haven’t,’’ he told the Herald Sun on Tuesday.

Gary addressed the fallout after Channel 10 announced that he, George and Matt would be parting ways with MasterChef in July last year, explaining that while the move ‘seemed very abrupt’ it was a long time coming.

“We were running into our 12th year and we were really begging [Channel 10] for change,” he said.

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New MasterChef judges Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen. Photo: Channel 10.

Fresh faces Melissa, former MasterChef winner Andy and Jock were revealed just a few short months after the original three judges stepped down.

While embattled restauranteur George appeared to lay low after he was found to have underpaid staff by more than $7.83 million, both Gary and Matt were given a second chance on Channel 7’s fledgling cooking competition, Plate Of Origin.

The pair were announced as judges along with MKR’s Manu Feildel at the network’s Upfronts presentation in October last year, with the program touted as the ‘world cup of home cooking’.

Gary with Matt Preston and Manu Feildel in the new promo for Plate Of Origin. Photo: Channel 7.

What is Plate Of Origin about?

Plate of Origin is an original format from Seven Studios that sees teams of cooks from diverse cultural backgrounds compete to see which of their chosen cuisines is the best.

“Food superstars Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan join Manu Feildel for Plate of Origin, where we’re not just reaching every corner of Australia… We’re going BIGGER! Which cuisine will reign supreme in this worldwide food fight?” was the caption on Seven’s official Facebook post.

Like many other Aussie TV shows, production of Plate of Origin was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and as a result, the number of episodes had to be reduced to 10.

“We had to modify what we were doing in order to get something to air. We are quite happy with the way it has worked out,” Seven’s director of network programming Angus Ross told Mediaweek in June.

There’s currently no premiere date but Channel 7 has released a sneak peek at the upcoming season featuring all three judges and an array of contestants.

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