MasterChef NZ Lifts the Lid on Judges

Discovery NZ has revealed the first of its secret ingredients for the first revival of MasterChef NZ in seven years: the judges.

Here’s the media release:

YOU BUTTER BELIEVE IT… MASTERCHEF NZ IS BACK! 

Your first look at our three incredible judges 

Get ready to tantalise your tastebuds New Zealand, as our nation’s top amateur chefs prepare to battle it out in the kitchen on MasterChef NZ 2022!  After a seven year hiatus, the world’s best loved cooking show is back in Aotearoa and Warner Bros. Discovery can today reveal the show’s exciting new judges.

The selected cooks are the most talented and diverse cooks Masterchef NZ has seen, and judging them in their quest to be crowned Masterchef NZ 2022 will be none other than three superstars of the NZ food scene:  Previous Masterchef NZ winner and entrepreneur Nadia Lim, world renowned CGFB three hatted NZ chef Vaughan Mabee  and multi award winning restaurateur Michael P. Dearth.

Nadia’s MasterChef NZ journey has come full circle. Entering as an unknown contestant on the show in 2011, she went on to beat the competition and be crowned the winner. Today Nadia is one of Aotearoa’s most recognised and successful cooks. The best selling cookbook author is also an entrepreneur and popular TV personality, but her latest focus is on ethical and sustainable farming at her and her husband’s 1200 acre farm in Central Otago. Nadia says it is an honour to be back here again as judge, “I’m looking for someone who’s got fire, inner spark, someone who knows their purpose.  Experience is one thing but attitude is everything.”

Vaughan Mabee has recently been nominated in worlds best chef top 100 list for the world’s prestigious ‘The Best Chefs Awards’.  Heading up the renowned Amisfeld in Queenstown he’s been the restaurant and winery’s Executive Chef since 2014. His award winning food has twice earned him Chef of The Year award and this year Amisfield was named New Zealand’s Restaurant of The Year. Vaughan says he knows what he is looking for in MasterChef, “you want to find someone who really enjoys what they’re doing, it’s not a task, it’s like they love creating something, they have a huge amount of drive and passion and they love doing it”.

Michael P. Dearth is regarded as one of NZ’s top restaurateurs and the owner of multi award winning Auckland restaurants Baduzzi and The Grove. In February 2022, both his restaurants received two hats each in the Cuisine Good Food Awards.  Having moved to New Zealand with his wife in 2004 from San Francisco he had a dream to open their own restaurants and has since built a reputation as one of New Zealand’s top restaurateurs.   Michael wants to see tenacity in the MasterChef NZ contestants, “some of the them will fail and some will have set backs, but it’s the ones that can learn from our feedback that will set them apart.”

With a record breaking number of applicants, 27 cooking hopefuls are chosen to compete for a place in the MasterChef HQ in picturesque Queenstown – 16 of which will make it into the Masterchef NZ kitchen at the stunning Vingard winery.

The most successful factual entertainment format in the world, MasterChef is watched by over 300 million people in more than 200 territories around the globe. MasterChef NZ is produced by Screentime NZ for Warner Bros. Discovery and the show’s exciting new advertising campaign launches today. Contestants competing for the chance to be New Zealand’s Masterchef winner for 2022 will be revealed in the coming weeks with the show premiering on Three and ThreeNow soon. 

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