Two MasterChef judges 'join new show with Seven'

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Masterchef judges Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan are joining Seven according to a new report. Photo: Ten

The may have stepped away from Channel 10’s Masterchef, but at least two of Aussie cooking’s favourite faces aren't leaving our screens just yet.

According to a new report, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan will star a rival TV cooking series for Seven, but embattled hospitality giant George Colambaris isn’t invited to the table.

Seven has been contacted for comment.

MasterChef Australia was rocked in July when George, Gary, and Matt left the show following a ten-year run after they failed to secure a significant pay rise from the network.

According to the Herald Sun however, only two have been invited to jump ship for sweeter shores. One has been well and truly left behind.

Why George is left out

Apparently, George Calombaris will no longer be part of the former trio. Photo: Ten

The paper reports that at next week’s Seven upfronts a new project with Matt and Gary, former darlings of Channel 10 will be announced.

As for George, rumour has it it he won’t be getting a mention.

It may have something to do with the fact he was fined over $200k for underpaying hospitality staff in his chain of restaurants, or a contracting detail that potentially prevents him from embarking on new projects for an extended ‘holding period’.

Should Manu and Pete be quaking in their aprons?

Other questions raising eyebrows include what the news might herald for Seven’s current rival to Masterchef, My Kitchen Rules.

According to Matt, the pair will not be coming after the show.

He confirmed to news.com.au that he was in talks with ‘other networks and producers’ for opportunities in 2020, but that My Kitchen Rules was well and truly off the kitchen table.

“Taking over MKR as host/judge is not on the agenda! I have too much love for Manu, Colin and Pete to do that!” he told the news site.

New Masterchef trio

New Masterchef judges Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen may be going head to head with their predecessors. Photo: Ten

The news comes after Channel 10 announced the new faces of Masterchef as Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.

Though indisputably qualified, with some solid gastronomy chops between the three of them, the new trio may not stand up to the star power the former judges had to offer, particularly if they are to go head to head for ratings.

Regardless, Network 10 are keen to express their own excitement about the appointments, with Chief Content Officer, Beverley McGarvey saying the network was ‘thrilled’ to appoint the brand new trio.

“In a nation obsessed with food, we are thrilled to welcome Jock, Melissa and Andy as judges to MasterChef Australia,” she said.

“Their combined culinary credentials coupled with their passion and sheer joy for food, and their relentless enthusiasm to explore ingredients, preparation and cooking methods ensures we are in for a real treat.”

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