Former contestants joined with new faces, TEN execs, network stars and media in a splash of colour and cuisine. The new Melbourne-based kitchen resembled a country fair with themed stalls, mirroring the show’s themed weeks: Italian week, Kids week, Barossa week and more.
Many TEN faces commented on the sense of humour that had been added to this year’s season, including in the Boys v Girls promo, which reflects the first 2-week challenge of the series.
“I really hope you’ve all enjoyed the Boys v Girls ad. I think they’ve been seriously good. Why not, y’know? A little bit of humour! A couple of cliches, a couple of stereotypes…. we’ve managed to push all those things,” he joked.
“There’s even been stories in The Huffington Post in the US about those great ads. One of the things those ads have done is get people talking about MasterChef series 5.
“But maybe what we’ve done with Boys v Girls is make people think that’s what the whole show is about. So I just want to make sure you guys realise that’s not the case.”
Hamish McLennan told guests TEN was building its brand from within.
“We’ve got the Winter Olympics next year, we’ve got the Commonwealth Games, we’ve got great programming like Offspring, hopefully we’ll have some news on cricket -can’t tale about cricket but we want a chunk of that. It’s all going very well, and I think the staff are feeling very confident about the future as I am too,” he said.
“It’s fun, it’s tongue-in-cheek and beautifully Australian because it’s self deprecating and we are eternal optimists.”
A new, trim George Calombaris added, “There’s been about 80 odd contestants since (Seasons) 1-5 and out of those 80 contestants, 75 of them are in the industry.”
He rattled off a number of names who were all working in the industry.
“Julie (Goodwin) from Series 1, if you combined our three books, she’s doubled her sales around the world. This show is real, it ain’t fake, and we’re so, so proud of it.”
In attendance were former MasterChef contestants included Andy Allen, Alice Zaslavsky, Tregan Borg, Kate Bracks, Hayden Quinn, Dani Venn, Justine Schofield, Chris Badenoch and Julia Jenkins.
They were joined by Beverley McGarvey (who had just flown in from LA screenings), Lisa Fitzpatrick, Mark Fennessy, Margie Bashfield, Neil Shoebridge, Paula Lucarelli, Charlie Pickering, Dave Hughes, Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann, Alicia Gardiner, Chrissie Swan, Alan Fletcher, Eve Morey, Kate Kendall, Kip Gamblin, James Mason, Rebekah Elmaloglou, Taylor Glockner, Saskia Hampele, Sandra Sully, Hamish Macdonald, Angela Bishop, Mike Larkan, Stirling Mortlock, Natalie Hunter, Carolyn Creswell and Dr. Chris Brown.