MasterChef Australia fans in the UAE will savour the reality cooking show’s next two episodes. Broadcast the next two Sundays are the show’s Dubai episodes, shot in June.
The episodes find the judges George Calombaris, his fellow chef Gary Mehigan and the food critic Matt Preston put contestants through their paces with food challenges based in the Dubai desert and the Ossiano restaurant at Atlantis, The Palm.
The first episode features the final eight contestants shopping for ingredients from a market in Dubai and then travelling by camel to a desert cooksite, where they whipped up Middle Eastern fare for 36 Emirati VIP guests.
In the second episode, they were tasked with taking over dinner service at Ossiano, cooking for 50.
Calombaris, who returned to Dubai last week to host a special brunch at Atlantis, said the contestants and 50-strong crew had an enjoyable time in the UAE.
“The UAE is really a wonderful place and this is my 12th time here, so it feels familiar to me,” says the 33-year-old celebrity chef.
Calombaris’s frequent UAE sojourns also have him in discussions to potentially bring one of his signature Australian eateries to Abu Dhabi. While nothing is confirmed, Calombaris explained that his Greek-inspired Melbourne restaurant Hellenic Republic would suit this region. “I think it would work here,” he said. “I think people would appreciate that kind of food because there is a great mix of cultures in this part of the world.”
That said, an Abu Dhabi Hellenic Republic would not be an exact replica. “It would have to be done properly with a lot of thought. We don’t want to copy it, but do something reflecting the people in Abu Dhabi and the region,” he said.
MasterChef Australia screens its Dubai episodes on Sunday, October 13 and October 20 on Fox. Exact timing will be announced soon