A British ode to an Australian Master(chef) piece.
Dear Masterchef Australia,
For nine months of every year, I grow tired and weary of the British offering of television food competitions.
A few episodes into Great British Bake-off, and I'm usually turning off. After many series of British Masterchef, I find myself more and more attached to the goings on on my phone rather than the goings on on the television screen.
And the re-launch of Ready Steady Cook was fun for a bit...but the excellent Rylan Clarke can only hold a tired format together for so long.
But you, oh Australian version, I long for you from the second the previous series ends.
There is no show on these shores like it.
There's one BIG difference between you and your British cousin – personality.
From the very first – of more than 60 episodes – you show us the contestants in a way that we aren't used to.
We get to know, learn about and love those who take part in your journey through life stories and watching them live normal lives in the Masterchef house.
Putting aside that the three iconic judges who have steered you through to 12 years of success are no longer here, you have been must-see, appointment viewing for my wife and me for as long as we can remember.
The standard of cooking on the show is second to none.
Nobody comes out in the first round and makes...a lasagne...or...a fishcake, like they do so often in this country.
Some of the food from Day One would not go amiss in a Michelin starred restaurant.
And it's all made with native Australian products.
Throw in the annual trip to a foreign country – be it Japan, the UK or France – you are a show that I would long to be a part of.
Every night, for 60+ days, for sometimes two hours per night, I will sit engrossed in the content presented to me.
And the Masterchef Masterclass episodes – where a guest judge such as Gordon Ramsey, Nigella Lawson and more will show us their tips and tricks in the kitchen – are a stroke of genius.
Your newest offering starts on August 3, on W.
And I, for one, can not wait.
But I will always have that fear of the series ending, and having to pine, once again, for the next offering.