I don’t know about you, but whenever I watch MasterChef Australia, I get serious kitchen envy and imagine all of the meals I’d love to cook up if I had access to every ingredient and utensils under the sun and, you know, amazing culinary skills too.
If you have similar thoughts, you might be interested to know the cooking competition is filmed at Melbourne Showgrounds, in Centenary Hall.
Built in 1934, Centenary Hall has been used for a range of activities over the years including the Royal Melbourne Show, in fact, the hall was originally constructed to accommodate displays of farm and dairy produce and district exhibits during Show.
The space has been used to shoot several other productions as well, including Channel Nine’s Lego Masters and improvisational comedy show Thank God You’re Here which used to air on Channel Seven.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the hall is “Soundproofed and air-conditioned” with the purpose-built studio now housing a “fully functioning commercial kitchen, ”boucherie”, herb garden, locker room, wine reception area, 120-seat restaurant and pantry.”
In other words, the stuff dreams are made of.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, production on the series had to undergo an overhaul, with the family and friends of the contestants no longer being able to cheer their loved ones on throughout the competition.
Ahead of 2020s Masterchef: Back to Win, an EndemolShine spokesperson told The Latch that “MasterChef Australia has always employed the highest standards of food safety and hygiene” and that they will now have a keener focus on that.
“All recommendations outlined by Federal and State government health authorities are being followed,” they said.
The production company introduced new safety measures which included social distancing measures across every facet of the production and additional hand sanitising stations positioned around the set and offices.
As the series premiered for its lastest season on Monday, April 19, judge Melissa Leong referenced the continued safety measures in a speech that also addressed the challenge of 2020.
“Last year, our world turned upside down,” she said.
“And although it was tough, it forced us all to reassess what is most important in our lives. Last year may have been a time of change, but this year is a time of opportunity.”
She continued, “Now usually you’d be here surrounded by your family and friends, but sadly this year that’s not possible.
“So I would like to invite you to take a look around at each other because as of today, we welcome you to the MasterChef family. Support each other, celebrate each other’s successes, have each other’s backs when things are not so great. We want to see you grow and thrive and be the best that you can be. That’s what makes us so proud to be part of this family together.”