Behind The Lens; MasterChef Australia Season 10

10 seasons in the making.

That’s right folks, it’s been 10 seasons since George, Gary and Matt’s Cravat debuted on our TV screens way back in 2009 for the inaugural MasterChef Australia Season 1. What started as a gamble on a not-so-well-known British TV format, quickly blossomed into Australia’s most-beloved and iconic cooking series.

Fast-forward nearly 10 years and not much has changed. Culinary prowess is still the name of the game and millions of home cooks from across the country are still lining up for a chance to be noticed and elevated into the realm of professional chefs.

To celebrate 10 seasons, this year’s contestants were given a Canon camera to photograph their MasterChef Australia journey and provide an insightful look at their time behind the lens. So, here’s a list of the stories behind their top 10 moments (on and off screen) from Season 10.

1. When Cultures Collide

MasterChef Australia is a cooking competition like no other. It transforms lives, inspires the nation and impresses the world’s best chefs. For the contestants, it’s all about being pushed out of their comfort zone and learning even more about what they love (food)! Outside of the challenges in the MasterChef Kitchen, the MasterChef House serves as the perfect environment for the contestants to experiment with food and experience each other’s culture and specialties, and of course, have some fun!

Reece, showing off his pasta making skills with Samira, Jess and Sashi.
2. Tea With The Queen (Of Home Cooking)

Series 10 welcomed back some of the most respected cooks in the world including the domestic goddess herself, Nigella Lawson. One of our favourite moments from Nigella Week was a moment we didn't actually see on TV, where one lucky contestant (a.k.a. Kristen) got to live out your dream of having high tea with the culinary queen herself, Nigella Lawson, in none-other than jolly-old London town! Kristen was so excited to meet Nigella that she baked her fellow contestants a batch of scones in preparation for her big meeting!

Kristen rolling dough in the MasterChef House ahead of her high tea with Nigella at Fortnum & Mason in the UK.
3. Hail, Ramsay

For the first time, internationally renowned Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay entered the MasterChef Australia kitchen, and the culinary lord did not disappoint. The fiery chef dished out plenty of words of advice during his cracking week in the kitchen, including this gem one-liner; “Pickled cauliflower and dehydrated peas... are you pickled Gina?” (insert crying-laughing emoji here). The constants didn’t know whether to laugh or cry (literally). We certainly hope we don’t have to wait another 10 seasons for him to return!

The man, the legend, Gordon Ramsay.
4. If You Liked It, Then You Should Have Put A Pin On It

OK, can we please take a moment to acknowledge the amount of immunity pin drops in this season, please!? Sashi made MasterChef Australia history when he scored not one, but two Immunity Pins (that’s right, he had DOUBLE IMMUNITY at one point). Loki also made history as the first contestant ever to go home wearing the esteemed pin. And, (just when you thought that had to be it) at one point of the competition, there were THREE Immunity Pins active: Two on Sashi (legend) and one on Reece, and hence, the “Bling Boys” were born.

Sashi, cooking up a storm in the MasterChef House post pin win.
5. Nostalgia

Being the 10th anniversary and all, this season of MasterChef Australia has been full of familiar faces and memories from seasons gone by. Maggie Beer returned with her trusty Apple and Rosemary Tarte Tatin (the first ever pressure test dish from Season 1) and Peter Gilmore’s legendary Snow Egg made a comeback for the final time (sad face). It’s names like Beer and Gilmore that really make your heart skip, and their presence this season was no exception. Behind the scenes, the contestants were completely star stuck and in awe of the opportunity to recreate these iconic dishes and meet their makers.

MasterChef Australia setting up to host the one and only, Peter Gilmore.
6. The MasterChef Achilles Heel

Unfortunately for the contestants, Gilmore’s Snow Egg and Beer’s Tarte Tatin weren’t the only OG dishes to return to the MasterChef kitchen this year. Season 10 also marked the return of "The Dark Lord of the Pastry Kitchen", Adriano Zumbo, who kick-started Sweet Week with none other than his infamous croquembouche tower. Despite the sheer terror that was croquembouche 2.0., it’s moments like these that the contestants spend their whole time preparing for. When they’re not cooking competitively in the MasterChef Kitchen, they’re in the MasterChef House, reading, studying and cooking constantly in an effort to tackle these incredible challenges.

Brendan, proving there’s no rest for the wicked in the MasterChef House.
7. Happy Families

Again, while this one might not have made it to final cut, we really should take the time to appreciate the contestants themselves in this season, because they’re a bunch of bloody legends! Also, it’s super cute how they buddy-up and stay together in bunk-beds for the duration for the competition in what we can only assume is school camp on steroids for adults, with exceptional food, even if the salad bowl is a pot (haha). Good times!

Brendan, Sashi, Jess, Samira and Reece enjoying some MasterChef House hangs.
8. Return To The Motherland (a.k.a. Sydney)

For those of you who have been watching MasterChef Australia from day-dot, you’ll know that the show in fact started filming in Sydney, not Melbourne. That’s right, the first four seasons we’re filmed in an inner-Sydney warehouse before the show made the move to Flemington. In this season, MasterChef Australia returned to its roots for an off-site challenge at none other than Sydney institution, Bondi Icebergs. For Khanh, this challenge was extra special. Not only did he make it clear that Bondi was one of his favourite places in the world (and rightly so, check that view) but he also landed a spot in the top three from this challenge, talk about meant-to-be!

Khanh taking in the beautiful, brooding, Bondi view.
9. Travel Goals

Every episode of MasterChef Australia (old or new) dishes up a hefty serve of food envy for the salivating viewers at home (#FOMO). But if that doesn’t quite do it for you, you can always rely on Travel Week to make you green with envy, because everyone knows that good food gets even better when the view is a 10/10. The MasterChef Australia contestants have been to, and cooked at, some of the best destinations in the country and the world. Season 10 has been no exception, sending the contestants to Adelaide and Darwin for the first time in the history of the show. And, you’ll be glad to know that the contestants get just as giddy as we do pre-vacay, and of course, have to pack their own bags as well!

Jess, happily packing for Darwin.
10. Friendships Are Forever

As the saying goes, ingredients may come and go but real friends are forever. OK, maybe that’s not the actual saying but in this context it is 100% fact! MasterChef Australia produces wonderful cooks, inspirational stories and even better friendships. You’ll be happy to know that many of the contestants do in fact keep in touch after the show and many of them strike up a friendship in the outside world (#cute).

BFFs, Sashi and Jess.