Masterchef’s Justine gets gig at Moran’s ARIA

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 16th July 2009

Sydneysider Justine Schofield, who was last night the latest to be eliminated from hit TV show Masterchef, is to be rewarded for her efforts with a mentorship from renowned chef Matt Moran.

Moran, the Executive Chef of acclaimed Sydney restaurant ARIA, is to offer advice to the budding chef who performed admirably against him in a celebrity challenge a number of weeks ago.

”That Matt Moran would want to mentor me, I was like: ‘Oh my gosh’. I will do anything. I will peel potatoes, I will peel onions or carrots,” Schofield told News Ltd. ”Just to be able to put my foot through the ARIA door is amazing. I am going to be so nervous when I actually do get my hands dirty there.”

The offer does not include a position at the restaurant at this stage.

“It means I can go to him for advice about my career and visit his restaurants to see how his chefs work and that sort of thing,” she told Ninemsn.

Moran, meanwhile, is set to branch out his successful ARIA restaurant to Brisbane next month and is looking forward to the August 17 launch.

“We are very excited about being able to open a restaurant in Australia’s fastest growing and dynamic city,” he said recently. “Brisbane seems to me to have a perfect balance between work and lifestyle with a great climate to match.”

Masterchef success to help restaurants? 

The hit Channel Ten show attracted a national average audience of 2.2 million on Tuesday and forecasts suggest the finale on Sunday could top 3 million. Such interest in cooking bodes well for the restaurant industry, which has faced a difficult couple of years – with first a skills shortage and rising food prices taking their toll and then a global recession that made Australians more cautious with their food spending. It is hoped the staggering degree of interest will entice more young people into the industry and possibly even boost sales as Australians seek out meals that can match or surpass the quality seen on their television screens.