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Australians love food and are easily inspired by celebrity chefs in the media. They enjoy watching cooking shows such as MasterChef, in its seventh season in 2015. In the January Project Harvest report by Ausveg, 28% of surveyed participants indicated they have purchased a new vegetable after seeing it used on TV or online. A report commissioned by Mitsubishi Electric, Australia’s Kitchen Revolution, offers insight into Australia’s changing home cooking trends. Its survey found that those who watch cooking shows at least once a fortnight were more likely to prefer fresh ingredients, plan meals ahead of time and try new recipes and cuisine. Furthermore, the survey indicated it is not just about food provision, but is about social connection, nutrition and expression.
Popular cooking shows have inspired a new generation of home cooks and have resulted in a downturn of spending and patronage at fine-dining restaurants. The so-called “MasterChef effect” contributed to the closure of Le Grand Cirque in January 2015 (a joint venture with celebrity chef and My Kitchen Rules host Manu Feildel) and PM 24 in January 2014.
New TV shows will continue to captivate Australian audiences. A new series starring Maeve O’Meara began on Australian TV channel SBS1 in January 2016. An A-lister, along with celebrity chefs such as Poh Ling Yeo, Adam Lia, Mathew Evans, Rachel Khoo and Heston Bluementhal, she has been presenting on food shows on Australian television for more than 20 years. Meanwhile, popular cooking show MasterChef (on channel 10) has enlisted Nigella Lawson as a chef, while My Kitchen Rules (featured on channel 7) will add a new female judge, and will keep Australians guessing until she is announced. Furthermore, in January 2016, the 7 network was looking for “home cooks who are passionate about baking and desserts” for a new dessert-making competition.