AFTER four seasons in Sydney, MasterChef is moving to Melbourne, the home of its hosts, Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris (below).
The 2013 season will be shot at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds. A proposed season of MasterChef Professionals, featuring chefs competing against each other, will also be shot there if it gets the green light from Ten.
The move will save production company Shine travel and accommodation costs for its hosts and be a boon for the local television production sector. The 2012 season employed about 260 people and cost an estimated $25 million. The move was prompted by the sale of the site in Alexandria best known as ''the MasterChef kitchen'', but Ten's programming director, David Mott, promised it would freshen the program.
''The Melbourne Showgrounds offer an exciting opportunity to create a new environment … with a new kitchen, new challenges and new locations in Victoria's acclaimed food and wine regions.''
About the move, state Tourism Minister Louise Asher said: ''The exposure that Melbourne will gain from hosting MasterChef will be invaluable to our tourism industry.''