Only the excuse of hiding in a hole could explain one’s lack of knowing the hottest reality fix on air at the moment – MasterChef Australia.

Initial induction rounds of the series consisted of a large number of contestants from across Australia auditioning for a spot on the show by presenting food dishes before a panel of three judges – food critic Matt Preston, restaurateur and chef Gary Mehigan, and Greek Australian chef George Calombaris.

The Top 20 amateur chefs on the television show must face Calombaris and his crew weekly in order to advance to the next stages of the competition.

At the end of the flavoursome journey, only one master chef is crowned, winning a prize including tuition by leading professional chefs, an offer to have a cookbook published, and $100,000 in cash.

On the show thus far, Calombaris has proven a tough cookie to crumble. He is fiery and outspoken, as he endeavours to push the contestants to strive for excellence in their cooking.

MasterChef Australia is the first reality prime-time cooking show that not only depicts the highs and lows of the hospitality industry, but the passion that each person on the show has for food.

“It is real. Real food and real people.

“I am a living example for all the cooks on MasterChef Australia and I hope I can give them the full reality of what this hard but beautiful industry is all about. I am fair and understanding, but I will not accept rubbish.”

Based on an original British version, MasterChef Australia screens nightly on Network Ten and is hosted by Sarah Wilson.

The season premiere attracted an average of 1.42 million viewers, deeming it the most watched show in its timeslot in late April.