Start heating your ovens and get the aprons on! Plate of Origin has arrived on our screens and you can bet we're salivating at the thought of tuning in.
The creme de la creme of reality cooking TV, hosts Matt Preston, Manu Fieldel and Gary Mehigan tell Woman's Day how leaving their own pioneering shows to create Plate of Origin was a recipe for success.
Woman's Day: What was it about Plate Of Origin that made you sign on the dotted line?
Matt Preston: Joyous television, good food, working with Manu [Feildel] and Gaz [Gary Mehigan], and the chance to develop our own shows with Seven.This latter one was big!Manu Fieldel: It is like having a new pair of shoes – I was excited to be involved in a new concept involving food and new teammates!
What sets it apart from other cooking shows?
Manu: Well, we have the best of both worlds, 33 years' experience between the three of us all wrapped up in one new show — surely that's the perfect recipe for success!
Gary Mehigan: This is great "competition food television", wrapped up in a beautifully simple format. It's a fresh take on a number of different food shows we have all enjoyed over the years – Iron Chef, Top Chef, The Great Australian Bake Off, MKR and of course MasterChef. It brings together the best of all of these.
MasterChef and MKR are two enormous names in the reality cooking world. How are you all feeling coming out with a new brand? Are you nervous?
Matt: You really couldn't have better training than those two shows and we feel we've been able to bring together the best of both in Plate Of Origin.
It was so much fun to make – filming with Manu and Gaz was a blast! As always, I'm nervous! So far, the buzz has been very positive, so fingers crossed.
Manu: We are pretty confident we have created something different. Yes, it's a cooking show but nothing like anything seen before.
Gary: Of course, we are, but Matt, Manu and I get on like a house on fire, the bond with the contestants is instantaneous and there's a sense of fun you can't fake.
Seeing as you're all from competing cooking shows, is it safe to say there's a bit of friendly rivalry going on between the three of you?
Manu: I was never competing – we were always the best! It's nice to have them on my team now!
Matt: Obviously we had to remove Manu's French eye-patch as he started out a little one-eyed...We are very comfortable with each other and there is a fair bit of ribbing that goes on, whether the cameras are running or not!
That trust and ease with each other comes from being supportive friends for many years.
Working on Plate Of Origin together in these unusual, stressful times has bought us even tighter together.
Gary: We may have been seen as rivals on competing cooking shows but off camera the reality could not be further from the truth.
We have all been a band of brothers in real life, well before any of us became household names.
The love of food and hospitality and the opportunity to occupy a space on prime-time television, bring the wonderful world of food into your lounge room for 12 years is something none of us have ever taken for granted.
But we never miss an opportunity to rib Manu mercilessly about his French accent – he's from Dubbo after all!
Or for Matt and Manu to tease me endlessly about how short and chubby I am. As for Matt Preston, where do I start!
Plate of Origin premieres 7pm, Sunday August 30 on Channel 7.