MasterChef stars hit Ballarat

Source: The Courier

Rumours that MasterChef Australia were in Ballarat were confirmed when filming crews and trucks set up on Lydiard Street South yesterday.

Filming the Ballarat edition of the show commenced yesterday at Craig’s Hotel, where preliminary takes of the contestants entering the hotel could be seen by pedestrians.

Curious passers-by stopped to take photos and catch a clear view of the remaining contestants, some taking to Twitter to spoil the surprise.

MasterChef Australia executive producer Margie Bashfield said the rich history of Ballarat was in line with the theme of the episode’s challenge.

“When Masterchef moved from Sydney to Melbourne one of the things we wanted to do – which we weren’t able to do in Sydney – was get out of the city and into the regional areas of the state,” Ms Bashfield said.

“The beauty of being based in Melbourne is that there are numerous incredible regional areas all about an hour from our base at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds.

“I had heard Craig’s Hotel being spoken about on Melbourne radio and thought we needed to check it out.

“We came up and looked at a couple of locations and Craig’s Hotel was perfect.

“It had all the necessary requirements for filming and it is a magnificent building with its own great history.”

Celebrity judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan will be in town today for filming.

Ms Bashfield said the judges – all of whom are from Melbourne – were keen to come home after eight series of shooting in Sydney.

“We wanted to move to a new location which would open us to new restaurants, chefs and challenge locations. As Melbourne is the food capital of Australia it was the obvious choice.”

The MasterChef star judges.

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