While MasterChef Australia wrapped up earlier this year, a star-studded version of the popular cooking program called Celebrity MasterChef is just around the corner.
The Channel 10 reality show will feature ten well-known celebs playing for their chosen charities, battling it out in the kitchen that's made the likes of Poh Ling Yeow, Julie Goodwin, Reynold Poernomo and Justin Narayan famous.
Before now, MasterChef Australia has only had one other celebrity version, back in 2009. Olympic swimmer Eamon Sullivan came out on top that season, winning $50,000 for charity Swim Survive Stay Alive.
As we wait for the new season and the delicious dishes it'll serve up, here's everything we know about this year's Celebrity MasterChef.
Who Is In The Cast?
The celebrities competing on the show this year come from a range of fields, including comedy, sport, acting and fashion design.
It's a big change to swap their day jobs for cooking on national TV, but that's what will make this competition even more compelling to watch.
The cast includes actors Rebecca Gibney and Matt LeNevez, singer Dami Im, radio host and former Big Brother star Chrissie Swan, fashion designer Collette Dinnigan, gold medal Olympian Ian Thorpe, comedian Dilruk Jayasinha, footballer Archie Thompson, AFL champ Nick Riewoldt and British kitchen royalty, Tilly Ramsay who is the daughter of acclaimed chef, Gordon Ramsay.
Who Are The Judges?
Judges Melissa Leong, Jock Zonfrillo and Andy Allen will be judging the dishes. This will be the trio's fourth time front and centre on the reality show after they appeared on MasterChef: Back To Win and Junior MasterChef in 2020, and then the main MasterChef series this year.
Last year food writer Leong, acclaimed chef Zonfrillo and former MasterChef winner himself, Allen, took over the judging reigns from Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston who were on the program for 10 years.
Mel recently opened up about filming the show with a celebrity cast, and had no complaints about the experience.
In an Instagram post promoting the new season, she said she and her fellow judges "are honoured and thrilled to have spent time with such wonderful humans."
Speaking to Refinery29 Australia ahead of the show's premiere, contestant Dami Im said she enjoyed cooking for all three judges, but she had a particularly strong connection with Leong.
Im highlighted that Leong, who is of Singaporean-Chinese descent, was an asset to the judging panel because she was particularly familiar with Asian cooking, but it also meant there was pressure to serve the highest standard.
"It was good and scary because I'd make these Korean dishes and I think the judges might not know what this is, and then she would know," she laughed.
Of course, all the judges "know so much about food" in Im's eyes, but she "really liked Melissa" because of the unique perspective as a POC that she brought to the table.
"She's able to critique and things that she says are just so eloquent," said Im. "As a fellow, Asian, I just feel like she's a really good representative for us on television and she just knows so much and speaks really well, which I admire."
What Is The Air Date?
Channel 10 has confirmed the show will premiere on Sunday October 10 at 7:30pm so there's not long to go.
The network has been rolling out an impressive slate of reality television during the pandemic. The Masked Singer just premiered off the back of the Survivor finale and Making It Australia kicked in mid-September.
Who Are The Guest Chefs?
There's an impressive lineup of local and international guest chefs this year including Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal, Curtis Stone and Martin Benn. They will all set some very interesting challenges for the celeb contestants to truly test out their culinary skills.
What Is The Prize?
While the main MasterChef series rewards winners with a $250,000 cash prize, the contestants on Celebrity MasterChef are actually competing to win money for a chosen charity.
What Else Do We Know?
The first promo has already revealed some nuggets of the joy, tears and deliciousness we can expect this season.
Highlights include more of Melissa Leong's show-stopping earrings, Chrissie Swan's crush on Gordon Ramsay and Back To The Rafters actor Rebecca Gibney getting emotional when her dish wins the judges' hearts.