The cooking show genre exploded in popularity at the beginning of the decade due to the successful formula of the Master Chef franchise. Master Chef Australia in particular has been enormously popular worldwide. Almost a decade since the show took off, it still hasn’t lost even an ounce of popularity, and is only gaining further momentum.
This has led to hopefuls around the world who want to kickstart their cooking career, and Master Chef experiences thousands of people auditioning and competing to become the winner. If you also hold dreams of changing your career and following through with your passion of becoming a chef, then you need to be aware of the rules that go into becoming a contestant for Master Chef. Here are 20 of these rules that competitors need to follow.
20 They Have To Leave Behind Their Jobs
Once you get to the main section of the competition, it’s really a done deal for you as far your future is concerned, because you need to commit to the show.
Contestants cannot waltz in and out for their jobs, and being on the show means you’re going to have to place faith in yourself and leave your current job; if that means having a large gap in you CV, then that's a risk you're going to have to take.
19 Have To Accept Early Elimination
Should the contestant take the leap and get on the show after quitting their jobs, they can’t blame the show if they get eliminated earlier on. Those hopefuls who audition and don’t get to the main portion of the competition have no option of returning either.
Of course, these people won’t have been committed fully to the show, but they also don’t have the advantage of a wildcard return in the future as well. Their elimination is sealed.
18 Can’t Bring Families Along
You must have seen contestants having their families present for some challenges, or if there’s a particular requirement for these people to be there, but all in all the contestants can’t meet their families when the show is on.
That’s because there’s something going on every day, and having families over would disrupt the placing of the contestants at the same house.
17 Can’t Promote Own Brands (Unless Non-Profit)
Master Chef itself is a brand that makes profits off of television deals and sponsorships. With this level of contracts in place, there’s no room for contestants coming in and promoting their brands or businesses essentially for free.
If it’s a non-profit, then arrangements can be made, since these are for welfare causes and also ensure Master Chef gets a good reputation out of it. But if contestants promote their businesses, they can see themselves disqualified.
16 Can’t Have Previous Chef Experience
The point of the show is to have amateur cooks who dream of becoming professional chefs. While it’s strange how every amateur seems to be well-versed in preparing extremely high-quality meals, they still are people not employed in the food profession.
Should any contestant turn out to have had even the slightest experience working in a kitchen, they are guaranteed to be disqualified.
15 They Have To Accept All Criticism
It might be a blow to the pride of a contestant who feels they are the real deal, but the judges are supposed to be professionals with success in the industry; so they know what they’re taking about. The judges are almost always very nice in their criticism, but have been know to be very forward on occasion.
Should this happen, a contestant can’t question what the judges feel, as their criticism is final, and all the competitor can do is try to learn from it.
14 Have To Be Above 18 To Enter
There are a lot of young fans of the show who desire to be on it themselves. While no one’s questioning the determination or skill of these youngsters, they can’t be on Master Chef if they’re below 18.
Junior Master Chef has a limit of 12, which means the 13-17 age window is one that can’t be placed on either show. It’s better for people of this age to hone their skills and audition when the time is right.
13 They Have To Be A Permanent Resident Of The Country
You don’t need to have a passport of the country, but you do need to have the status as a permanent resident. A contestant can’t simply take a visa of around a month or less and expect to be roped into the show. Even if one has a visa for a few years; if it’s not a permanent one, they can’t be on Master Chef.
12 Their Main Source Of Income Can’t Be Food-Related
Some people might make a swerve and claim they don’t have cooking experience, but be those who are either caterers or have food businesses of their own. These people don’t qualify for Master Chef either, and should they be found to have duped the show into casting them, then they are going to be swiftly removed from the competition. Basically, any person whose life benefits from preparing food can’t be on the show.
11 They Have to Attend Casting-Calls Or Send Home Videos
In order to qualify for the main contest, hopeful entrants need to prove their worth. For this, Master Chef has casting calls in the country, and people need to attend these events to showcase their talent.
Should someone not be able to make it to the location, they have the option of sending home videos that show them preparing these meals from scratch.
10 They Have To Show Their Home Lives
While you can’t bring your family to the contest, you do need to show how your family life is. Every contestant is required to have Master Chef’s crew enter their abode and interview their families.
The point of this practice is to make the contestants relatable, and this means bringing in their families to show how life at home really is like.
9 Can’t Say No To Travelling Abroad
On occasion, Master Chef gets extra generous and has contestants flying out to another country for a week or more. This is more of a blessing than an annoyance, but if a contestant happens to be scared of flying, then they’re in for a rude awakening.
Saying no to being taken abroad will mean elimination, as the overseas section generally ends with an elimination round. Not being present for that would mean the contestant can’t carry on in the competition.
8 Have To Be Available For 9 Weeks For Filming
The reason why contestants have to leave their jobs to be on Master Chef is because they’re all placed in a house together. What this entails is constant filming of the events that happen during and after the competing moments.
The whole process takes nine weeks’ worth of filming, and a person needs to commit to this schedule. Of course, those who get eliminated won’t be there for the entire nine weeks, but if you want to win, then that’s how long you’re staying there for.
7 Audition Food Has To Be Served Only On One Plate
We’ve seen contestants serve up a storm and witness them presenting stuff that seems too much to fit on multiple plates, but these are only exceptions for the main part of the competition as the auditions have a struct rule.
Here, contestants need to serve whatever it is they’re making on one plate. If this hampers your presentation of the dish, then that’s just too bad because one plate is the requirement.
6 Need To Follow The Weekly Schedule
There are no breaks when it comes to the Master Chef schedule, with the contestants required to adhere to the weekly schedules. Each day entails something different, and the show’s format is always followed this way.
One particular day will have the Master Class, while another will have the competing part; the end of the week sees the elimination process occur, after which we circle back to how things started.
5 Can’t Give The Show's Secrets Out While Filming
Generally, people are remarkably quiet about how their experience on the show went even after the current season is over, but these people can talk about it. When they’re on the show, however, they don’t have the option of revealing the process.
It’s obvious why, too, because then the contestants would just be giving out spoilers over what took place within the week before it’s even aired.
4 Have To Publish A Cookbook After Winning
It’s not just a money prize or cooking deals for the winner of the competition, they also have an agreement for a cookbook to be released with their name on it.
This is seen as a great chance to be known in print for contestants, but it also means they need to have enough material to create a cookbook that is unique to them in the first place.
3 Have To Accept Eliminated Contestants Returning
When the competition whittles down to the last several people, Master Chef tends to bring back previously eliminated contestants in a kind of wildcard rule that allows certain people to return and possibly even win the show.
This can be perceived as unfair on those who had to fight their way that far in the competition, but these people have no choice but to accept the eliminated contestants having another chance for victory.
2 The Timer Can't Be Ignored
The timer is like the ultimate enemy for a Master Chef cook, as it looms in the distance while a pressure test is on. Those who might feel as if they can push the boundaries of the timer’s limit are very wrong, as it is a strict rule to adhere to it.
As soon as the timer is off, the contestant can’t do anything else with their dish and need to step back. Any alterations they make after that isn’t considered.
1 Can’t Be Involved With The Judges
Fortunately, every judge we’ve seen so far has been married or unavailable, but the show does have a policy of the judges not being involved with the contestants. Having family members or friends of the judges on the show isn’t allowed either, since the judges won’t be impartial.
Getting involved while the show is on is even worse, and these people will be taken out quickly – it’ll result in the judge being fired from their job too.