Judge Graham Elliot and executive producer Robin Ashbrook both feel that this season of “Masterchef” will be the best yet, saying they still have tricks up their sleeves, even after five seasons, to keep the contestants on their toes and the audience entertained.
“I think the biggest thing is that they already have existing careers and lifestyles that they’re a part of, whether it’s families, fathers, mothers,” Elliot said. “This season, we have everything from a stay-at-home dad to an advertising executive, an aerial dancer; people that are committed to what they do, and true to this creative outlet for them, it’s cathartic to cook, and we’re bringing them in, and I think really showing much of the country what they’re made of.”
Everyone at the show works hard to keep things fresh. Ashbrook said this season will be no different as they plan on focusing on old fashioned American food and “lots of surprises” along the way. In addition to the changes to the competition this season, Ashbrook said there is more being shown than ever before.
“There are obviously plenty of twists and turns with the home cooks themselves, but there’ll be also special appearances,” Ashbrook said. “There might be a point when the home cooks have the pressure of cooking a romantic dinner for Gordon and his wife. Our challenges out in the field are bigger than ever before. There’s one where we have to feed the army, over 500.”
After some more pressing Ashbrook revealed in addition to cooking for over 500 people, the contestants will also cook for a wedding, complete a resturant takeover, and even test the pressure of completing a football challenge.
Elliot also wasn’t shy about discussing some details from the season, specifically his favorite meal.
“One of these contestants is great at leading, and really makes this food that we haven’t seen, at this caliber, using a lot of science and molecular gastronomy with their food,” Elliot said.
Although he wouldn’t reveal which contestant he was talking about he did say they made a cauliflower dish that was both “creative” and “fun” making the show more than just a gimmick, but an actual competition where contestants sometimes have to make something out of nothing.
Ashbrook agreed saying this season is the most difficult and challenging yet.
“It’s just the diversity of where these people are from, and by that, not just geographically; where they’re from in their life stage,” Ashbrook said. “Some stand out to me—now some of these might now last that long; I don’t want to give anything away, but we have our youngest ever to be competing in the kitchen this year, and that’s Ahran, and she’s a high-school student. At the same time, we have a stay-at-home dad, who’s our oldest to compete in the kitchen, and he’s 56. For various different reasons all of the contestants stand out to me.”
Watch Robin Ashbrook and Graham Elliot test contestants food and put them to the test on “MasterChef” every Monday on FOX at 8 p.m.
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