In the first ever episode of MasterChef New Zealand, amateur chefs from across Aotearoa audition for a chance to compete on the show. Twenty-four applicants are eventually whittled down from over 1000 applicants, and that number will be halved in episode two. Judged by renowned chefs Simon Gault, Ray McVinnie and Ross Burden, the cooks have free range over what to present. There is an abundance of beef eye fillet and lamb rack on offer, with chocolate-covered asparagus and a vegan 'potato nest' being some of the more adventurous dishes. The contestants range from terrified to elated to shell-shocked.
That would have to be one of the weirdest things I've eaten, I think. I remain unconvinced about that.– Judge Ray McVinnie on being served chocolate-covered asparagus by Kirsty Cardy