Reality TV

MasterChef behind the scenes secrets: What happens to all the leftover food will shock you!

We found out what really goes on behind the scenes of the hit show!
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On-screen, MasterChef plays out like a dramatic battle of man vs. oven vs. clock vs. a dozen other talented foodies – keeping up?

Well, you mightn’t need to try, because in a big revelation, it turns out there’s quite a different story happening behind the scenes.

Keep scrolling as we find out what really goes on when the producers call “cut!”… and it’s juicy!



Dishwasher Leigh Dowling is one of over 200 crew that make the MasterChef dream a reality.

“Leigh washes everything you see,” executive producer Margaret Bashfield reveals.

“He’s the happiest bloke on the team, even when he gets pots that are horribly burnt on the bottom.”



They keep on filming!

While a challenge might only last 60 minutes, an average filming day is much longer. After the judges’ taste-test and the verdict is delivered, contenders sometimes head home after spending 12 hours of their day filming.

Former contestant Lynton Tapp previously told Mamamia that filming days were ”some of the longest days you’ll ever experience because of the logistics involved.”

Fellow MasterChef alumni Mindy Woods told Refinery29 in 2022 that it the show ”wasn’t quick to shoot.”

”When you look at the production itself, you might have a one hour or two hour cook and sometimes pressure tests which are obviously much longer than that.

”But we will be on set at 7 o’clock in the morning, we’ll do a lot of walk ups [from the car] that are done time and time again to get the different angles and different expressions. Then we go onto set and we’ll finally do the cook, which will last maybe two hours.

”We can be on set anywhere from like eight to 14 or 15 hours. They’re huge days of filming.”

Relaxed the rules


The harsh “MasterChef bubble” that contestants are in while on the show is no longer as tough as it once was.

“The worst case scenario is two 10-minute phone calls home a week, but there are exceptions.”

“There’s also outings and contenders were allowed to leave the house more this year to go down the street because we’d finished filming before the show went to air,” explains Margaret.

They also have access to social media as the show’s filming schedule allows for “everyone to be involved”.

Doggie bags


While most of the cooked food is eaten by the judges, and the contestants often have a nibble as well, sometimes there are leftovers and the lucky contenders are encouraged to take it home!

In a recent interview with New Zealand publication Stuff, former judge Melissa Leong admitted that despite being delicious, she never went back for more than one bite of each meal.

”Sometimes when something is especially tasty it is very difficult not to go back for a second, third or fourth bite,” she admitted, ”but part of the job is excercising restraint.”

”I’m not going to lie,” Leong said, ”there are definitely days where I do not need to have dinner or lunch because I do most of my eating on camera.”

Given this, it comes as no surprise that contestants and even production crew get to take home leftovers!



While the audition process for MasterChef is lengthy, Margaret reveals that many contenders in past seasons didn’t even pass their first cook!

“A lot didn’t cook brilliantly in their audition, but we saw that they knew how to cook, and when we talked to them about what was supposed to happen, they could talk to us about it and explain why it didn’t.”

Matt Preston


The man behind the cravat’s fashion sense had tried to be tamed over the years, but in 2018 former judge Matt Preston was given full reign over his wardrobe.

“God help you if you try and get between Matt and his wardrobe,” shared Margaret.

“We have a bit of fun about whether his outfit is appropriate, but in the end it’s all him, no-one can direct him… I almost fall off my chair with some of the things he comes out in.”

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