MasterChef's Gary Mehigan Reflects On The Show's Tenth Season
It's one of the biggest shows in the country, and Gary's been there every step of the way.
As MasterChef barrels towards crowning its next champion, ten daily caught up with one of the men at the centre of it all, Gary Mehigan.
Gary has been one of the judges since the show's debut in 2009 and with the show in its tenth season, he spoke to us about how it's changed, the effects it's had on the Aussie food industry and some of his favourite moments over the last ten seasons.
Having moved to Melbourne in 1991, Gary has headed up the kitchens of some of Melbourne's best restaurants as well as starring on shows like Boys Weekend, Good Chef, Bad Chef and Far Flung.
No stranger to either the food or the TV industry, Gary is aware of the massive effect MasterChef has had on both.
Resisting the urge to acknowledge just how big the show had become in its first few seasons Gary told ten daily, "After a few years we realised, 'Hang on a minuted... no. We are having a massive influence'."
Now the show toys with food trends --
"We play games on the show where we say 'Let's reinvent the vol au vent', there's a whole generation who doesn't even know what vol au vents are... but we know if we talk about it people are going to start cooking it, and they do!"
"We slip things into the show that we know people will make or we go 'No more smears, the smear is dead'. And then no one does smears!"
Gary even believes that professional chefs take some of their cues from the series, picking up trends or combinations of flavours.
With the show having such a strong reputation, the 51-year-old revealed it can be difficult to find professional chefs who want to compete against the amateurs as the standard of competitor continues to climb.
But the series still boasts some of the greatest food minds of the world, and the special guests with this season were no exception. Maggie Beer, Nigella Lawson, Curtis Stone and even the fiery Gordon Ramsay have all stopped by, and Gary says they're already thinking about who'll be entering the kitchen next year.
The series has also been championed for its diversity of contestants and the cuisines they represent throughout the show.
"The fact that MasterChef is a snapshot of modern Australia is absolutely crucial to its success," Gary said.
"We get what is in our society. Lebanese, Greek, Italian, Sudanese... that's what makes food interesting for me, and I want to see different stuff. I don't want to see white bread all the time, I don't want to see roast chicken. It's delicious, but so is Hainanese chicken."
Check out the full chat in the video above.
MasterChef Australia airs Sunday to Thursday on TEN and tenplay.
Featured image: Instagram @garymehigan.