Entertainment

The heat is on for MasterChef in 2013

Matt Preston and Marco Pierre White host MasterChef - The Professionals.
Matt Preston and Marco Pierre White host MasterChef - The Professionals. Network Ten

ALL aboard, the MasterChef train is about to steam ahead in 2013.

The new spin-off of the popular reality cooking competition, MasterChef -The Professionals, debuts tomorrow night.

Instead of amateur cooks, 18 chefs with industry experience will compete for a career-changing grand prize to be revealed on Sunday.

Their goal will be to impress MasterChef judge and food critic Matt Preston and the "godfather" of modern British cuisine Marco Pierre White.

White, renowned for training celebrity chefs including Heston Blumenthal, Curtis Stone and Gordon Ramsay, established himself as a formidable figure during guest appearances on MasterChef Australia.

But he reckons he's a "nice" and "honest" judge who is sad to see any contestant go home.

"It's a rollercoaster journey (for the contestants)," White said.

"Sometimes it stops and someone steps off and it goes on its way."

White also acts as a mentor for the chefs, sharing knowledge honed by from years of running Michelin-star restaurants.

At the age of 33, White was the youngest chef in the world to be awarded three Michelin stars, the highest honour in fine dining.

He hopes The Professionals will unearth the next face of Australian cuisine.

"It is a show to celebrate professional chefs and bring out the best in them and go on a journey with them," he said.

"It's as much a journey for me as it is for them."

But that's not to say he and Preston will be going soft on the chefs. Because of their qualifications and previous experience, the chefs will be facing much tougher challenges than ordinary MasterChef contestants.

"The beauty of MasterChef is it's designed in a way to expose people to their weaknesses and strengths. Then it's how people deal with their weaknesses in the kitchen."

Speaking of kitchens, The Professionals features a new, state-of-the-art commercial kitchen and adjoining 120-seat restaurant in MasterChef's new home, Melbourne.

While they all have professional qualifications, the chefs are a diverse bunch from across Australia, ranging in age from 19 to 47.

Their CVs are diverse as well, with some fresh out of their apprenticeships and others with 20 years of experience and clientele lists including illustrious names such as Hugh Jackman, Penelope Cruz and Sean Connery.

White downplays his role on the show, saying the real star is Preston, the MasterChef judge who single-handedly brought the cravat back into Australia's modern style lexicon.

"Matt's the star of the show; I'm just on the side. He is a very charismatic, very magical, very mesmerizing individual. He's almost like a snake charmer."

MasterChef - The Professionals debuts tomorrow at 7.30pm on Ten.

Topics:  marco pierre white, masterchef australia, masterchef the professionals, matt preston




Jupiter and Venus in closest encounter for 50 years

Even with a small telescope the heaven will reveal plenty of their mysteries.

most people will be able to see with the naked eye

Going, going, gone. But to who? It is a feeding frenzy

UP FOR GRABS: The Rugby Park clubhouse and facilities in The Range.

ONE thing is clear, the offers have come in for Rugby Park.

What's going on in and around Rocky this weekend?

Challenge the Mountain 2015.
Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

Check out what's on in the region today and tomorrow

Latest deals and offers

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa