MasterChef's Reece Hignell reveals moment from the show he 'hated'

EXCLUSIVE: The celebrity chef has spilled BTS details from the reality show.

MasterChef fan-favourite Reece Hignell has revealed the one element from his experience filming the tenth season of the reality show that he absolutely “hated”.

Chatting with Yahoo Lifestyle about the cooking competition's juicy behind-the-scenes details, Reece admits he wasn’t a fan of the show’s living arrangements.

MasterChef’s Reece Hignell in the Yahoo studio.
MasterChef’s Reece Hignell says he ‘hated’ the living arrangements on season 10. Photo: Yahoo

“Oh my god, I hated the living situation,” he shares. “In season 10 there were 24 of us in a five-bedroom house. It was manic.

“It was Big Brother-esque. You had no connection to the outside world, you had no phone, and you couldn't just go for a walk down the street. It was very, walk into this environment and you're on MasterChef and you're surrounded by the realm of MasterChef.”


However, Reece acknowledges that the strict environment while filming the show ultimately helped the contestants focus solely on the competition.

“We had no distractions from the outside world, so all we did was try and better ourselves,” he says.

“And if you watch those seasons where you're in those houses, people start off making quite average food and by the end of the season, the food's immaculate because that's all they do.

“You wake up in the morning like, ‘I'm going to have a nice relaxing day’, and then you walk past someone who's done a little bit better in a challenge than you and they're studying so you're like, ’Well if she’s studying I'm gonna study, I want to be better than her’.”

Difference between season 10 and season 12

Reece went on to share that the housing situation was completely different when he came back to MasterChef two years later for Back to Win, which featured a cast comprised entirely of returning contestants.

“The thing is when we went back for season 12, we'd already been in the industry,” he details. “I had an online cake business, Brendan Pang had a dumping store, Reynold [Poernomo] had Koi, Poh [Ling Yeow] had Jam Face.

“We had stuff going on on the outside, we couldn't be locked in an environment because if something went wrong in our businesses, we'd have to go fix it. So there was a lot more flexibility.”


This comes after the show’s inaugural winner Julie Goodwin told Yahoo Lifestyle she only agreed to return for season 14 last year under certain conditions.

“I had to make sure that things were going to be okay before I agreed to go back on it, just because I was in a place where I didn't really think it would be great for my mental health to put myself under that kind of stress,” she said.

“But the production was very, very generous with me in terms of what they would allow me to do. I said things to them like, ‘I have to have eight hours of sleep a night, I can't work till midnight and get up at five, that doesn’t happen anymore!’. And they were like, ‘No, we don't operate like that anymore’.

“I was allowed access to my psych even though we were filming, I was allowed to drive my car down to Melbourne so that I could go get up early and go for a swim before filming and things like that. So the contestant welfare is super high priority now.”

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