Local flavours set to shine on MasterChef
MASTERCHEF viewers will be in for a visual feast when the popular reality cooking show heads to Queensland for the first time.
The Melbourne-based cast and crew begin the first day of two weeks of filming across Southeast Queensland, which will form a week of on-air episodes, today.
This is the first time the Logie-winning show, now in its 11th season, has filmed in the Sunshine State.
The QT can reveal a hinterland location near Ipswich will be in the spotlight alongside Brisbane and the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.
That means exposure to millions of viewers and potential visitors, says co-host Matt Preston.
"Myself, George (Calombaris) and Gary (Mehigan) went on this big trip to celebrate 10 years (last year). We went to Spain, Italy, France, Denmark America and Portugal and in every country we met MasterChef fans," he said.
"We know we're not just shining a spotlight on the beauty Queensland has to offer Australians, but we're also shining a light that will be seen in Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Lisbon. We reckon there must be about 20 million people watching each episode of MasterChef around the world.
"For that whole week we won't have to say much about how spectacular it's going to be. The images will speak for themselves."
It's a massive undertaking, with everything from cameras to pots and pans being transported more than 1700km.
"We're like Madonna on tour without the pointy bras," Preston said. "We have seven truckloads of equipment.
"We bring everything with us because we want them (the contestants) to be familiar with everything they're using.
"Then there's the nine cameras, a giant jib and a video village. We know there's been 5km of cable laid before the first shot even happens. Then me, George and Gary just turn up and eat cake."
Past contestants will also guest star in each episode.
"We're excited we get to drive through Ipswich and go to Ben Ungermann's ice cream shop," he said. "One of the joys for us is catching up with all those Queensland alumni.
"I can't say who (will appear on air), but suffice to say there will be some much-loved, familiar faces."