Sleeping Arrangements & Filming Secrets — Your Most-Asked Masterchef Questions Answered

MasterChef Australia has yet again proved that it's a firm fan favourite after winning the Logie award for Most Popular Reality Show. But like any reality TV show, there are parts of the cooking program that we don't get to see, leaving us all wondering what happens beyond the pressure tests and mystery box challenges.
Here are the answers to some of the burning questions we've all had about MasterChef.
Image courtesy of Channel 10

Where do the MasterChef contestants stay during filming?

Hailing from across the country, MasterChef contestants travel to Melbourne for filming, where they are put up in serviced apartment accommodation. A reliable source close to production tells Refinery29 Australia that usually two contestants share an apartment, but each has their own bedroom within the unit.
Eliminated contestant Steph Woon recently opened up about the close friendships cast mates forged with one another, especially with those they shared apartments with.
"Obviously I've got a roommate, so I'm really close to Ali," she told us."We're actually a really close-knit bunch and it's from day one that we've had this bond."
MasterChef's serviced apartment accommodation began in 2020 when the pandemic hit Australia. Prior to this, contestants lived in a six-bedroom, four-bathroom, three-level mansion in Canterbury, in Melbourne's east.

What do the MasterChef contestants do when they're not filming?

You'll often hear the judgesMelissa Leong, Jock Zonfrillo and Andy Allen – tell the contestants to 'study' before an upcoming challenge. That's exactly what they do when they leave the studio at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds and return to their apartments. They study culinary techniques, including how to use different ingredients and even formulate their own new recipes.
Given that COVID-19 restrictions have eased in the past year, the cast often cooks for each other and gather socially in one another's apartments.
"I think we were on the other side of COVID where the rules have really loosened quite a lot," says contestant Sarah Todd, explaining going onto the show now was the "perfect thing to do".
"A lot of people aren't really back into full-time work and around people, so for us to have that opportunity to be around people all the time, it was like living life to the fullest," she says. "Obviously you have to be safe and take all the right precautions but we just felt like one big family and it was amazing."

How long does an average MasterChef episode take to film? 

While the episodes we watch span up to an hour-and-a-half max, it actually takes a full day to film a single episode.

Do the MasterChef judges taste every dish? 

Yes, the judges taste every dish. Due to time constraints in terms of episode length, we sometimes don't see the judges tasting every contestant's dish, but rest assured, they take their job of eating other people's food very seriously.

Is there actually time after the clock stops for the contestants to tidy up their plates or re-plate before presenting to the judges? 

Unfortunately, once the clock stops there is no additional time provided. However, some dishes need to be completed in front of the judges if they contain sauce, broth or salad dressings, and those are finished at the tasting table.
Image courtesy of Channel 10
Mindy Woods and Melissa Leong on MasterChef Australia: Fans and Favourites

Are MasterChef dishes still warm by the time the judges try them? 

This really depends on the challenge and what the contestants have decided to cook. Our source says that in the instance of the recent toasted jaffle episode this season, all toasties were eaten by the judges almost immediately (no one wants cold cheese). However, at other times dishes have cooled down as there has been a short break between the cooking and tasting.

Do MasterChef contestants get dressed by the wardrobe team?

Unfortunately on-set styling is a luxury reserved for the judges, with all contestants wearing their own clothing and doing their own hair and make-up. That doesn't mean we don't see some awesome fashion under the aprons, like Minoli De Silva's fruit-themed tops and Julie Goodwin's bacon and eggs earrings.
We have now reached the final 9 contestants in the competition for 2022 which includes seven favourites (returning MasterChef stars) and three fans (amateur cooks).
They are Julie Goodwin (Season 1), Billie McKay (Season 7), Alvin Quah (Season 2), Mindy Woods (Season 4), Sarah Todd (Season 6), Aldo Ortado (Season 10), Daniel LambleKeyma Vasquez Montero and Montana Hughes.
The previously eliminated contestants are Sashi Cheliah (Season 10), Michael Weldon (Season 3), Christina Batista (Season 5), John Carasig (Season 7), Minoli De Silva (Season 13), Tommy Pham (Season 13), Ali Stoner, Jenn Lee, Chris Tran, Dulan Hapuarachchi, Harry Tomlinson, Matt Landmark, Max Krapivsky, Melanie Persson and Steph Woon.
MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites airs Sunday to Thursday at 7:30pm on Channel 10 and 10Play.
Want more? Get Refinery29 Australia’s best stories delivered to your inbox each week. Sign up here!  

More from TV