food & Wine

Shannen Findlay

Secrets of the MasterChef mansion revealed

Secrets of the MasterChef mansion revealed

MasterChef Australia doesn’t often document what life is like behind the scenes for contestants once the cameras stop rolling.

However, this week, the popular Channel 10 cooking show allowed for fans to get a glimpse into what life is like for competitors at the massive mansion the aspiring chefs share and live in.

Current members opened up about what their situations are like behind the scenes, and their secrets may come as a shock to MasterChef fans.

In a TV Week exclusive, it was revealed female contestants sleep in three of the five bedrooms while the male stars share the remaining two – and better yet, all of the members sleep on bunk beds.

Steph De Sousa, 45, admitted that having to sleep on a bunk bed isn’t exactly a highlight of her MasterChef experience.

“I'm on the top bunk and, let me tell you, when you've had four children and need to go to the toilet in the middle of the night, it isn't fun!” she said.

Another contestant, Derek Lau, 26, said sharing a room with fellow contestant Blake requires noise-cancelling headphones.

“Blake is a massive snorer. He's on the bottom bunk and somehow the sound reverberates. I started with earplugs, but they weren't strong enough, so I've moved to noise-cancelling headphones to drown out the old steam train!”

For Joe, sharing a room with his fellow competitors, Sandeep and Kyle, is a massive challenge.

“Sandeep speaks Hindi in his sleep and Kyle farts more than anyone I know,” he revealed.

The MasterChef mansion is also equipped with a gym and treadmills, and is a feature that contestant 22-year-old Joe Ahern uses “every second or third day to stay fit.”

“I left my running shoes at home, so for a few weeks I had to run barefoot. I copped a bit of flak from the others for that!”

Derek revealed he and a few other competitors on the show do their own mini workouts in the mansion’s fitness centre.

“Simon, Walleed and I started doing mini F45 workouts [high-intensity interval workouts that last 45 minutes] but we call them F30 instead – mostly because we're all too lazy to go the full 45 minutes,” he explained.

The group members also revealed they take turns cooking dinner each night, which we are sure would be a delight to be able to feast on an aspiring chef’s meals!

“One night, the boys made this amazing seafood dish,” Steph revealed, adding: “It was so decadent!”

Living with new people brings new habits along with it, meaning all the contestants are getting used to each other’s odd ways.

“Monica eats her milk and cereal separately,” Derek said.

“She puts her milk in a glass, cereal in a bowl, and then takes a spoon of dry cereal and a swig of milk because she doesn't like it soggy.”

Fellow contestant Tati is a serial cleaner, according to Derek.

“Tati does so much cleaning in the house, it's not funny,” Derek says.

“She's always sweeping the floors, cleaning the kitchen and washing tea towels.”

When the cooks are not busy filming on the beloved Aussie-born show, the contestants spend their days and hours studying and reading cookbooks.

“There are times when you just can't read another cookbook!” Steph joked.

Movie nights to sit back and relax are also common in the MasterChef mansion, and even a bit of sport in the basement, Ben revealed.

“We've set up some cricket in the basement and a handball court to keep ourselves busy,” he said.

MasterChef Australia airs on Monday to Thursday, and Sunday, 7.30pm on Network 10.