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Why did Gary Mehigan really leave 'MasterChef Australia'? Former judge says show was 'far too professional'

2023-07-09 20:17
Gary Mehigan served as a 'MasterChef Australia' judge for 11 years until his departure from the show in 2019
Why did Gary Mehigan really leave 'MasterChef Australia'? Former judge says show was 'far too professional'

MUMBAI, INDIA: Former 'MasterChef Australia' judge Gary Mehigan is currently in India to shoot for National Geographic India’s show 'Mega Festival'. During his stay in the South Asian country, Mehigan spoke in detail about why he decided to leave one of the most popular versions of the cooking show in 2019. The talented chef has been basking in some “incredible experiences” in the country and spoke about his time as the 'MasterChef' judge.

Mehigan left the extremely popular cooking show in 2019 after the show’s 11th season. Speaking to Indian Express, the award-winning chef revealed he left 'MasterChef Australia' because the show was “far too professional.” He also remarked that in the first season, they found some home cooks who were not so competitive and looking forward to starting a culinary career.

‘That thing was getting old’

Mehigan told the news outlet, “I still love the idea of an honest home cook, who loves what they do and the food that they cook, can be extremely simple but if beautifully made, can be as better as any restaurant food.” He added, "I don’t think they are even competing with that.”

When asked why he left the show, he joked, “That thing was getting old,” and then shared it was taking up a lot of his time. He recalled, “We had been standing on those boards in the studio for 11 years and 16 seasons, including spin-offs. I remember asking the head of Channel 10 how long does he think the show would go on and he said that he reckons another 10 years.”

However, Mehiga was not ready to invest another ten years of his life. He continued, “I looked into his eyes and said not surely with us. He was quite shocked to find out I think that all of us had an end time.”

The former judge noted, “Honestly, I promised my family (as they said) do it only if you love it and not because we want you to do it. My wife said don’t come back home and then complain that it’s boring. (So) I promised myself quite early on that if I feel that it’s not my thing, it’s time to move on.” He remarked that once the deal finally ended, Channel 10 was keen to make it about “greedy judges.”

'We couldn’t meet the demands'

When it was announced in 2019 that all three original judges of MasterChef Australia, Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan, and the embattled George Calombaris, were leaving the show after 11 phenomenal years, Chief executive officer Paul Anderson said that the trio was quitting owing to payment issues. Anderson said at the time, “The reality is that we couldn’t meet the demands of the three judges,” as per The Guardian.

He added in the statement, “We would like to thank Gary, George and Matt for their contribution over the past 11 years,” before adding, “We can’t wait to introduce another group – and the next generation of exceptional judges – in season 12 of MasterChef Australia next year.”

Anderson further revealed to Ten News, “We’ve been in negotiation with the three guys for a number of months so this is not about George.”