Julie claims MasterChef crown, sensational ratings a win for food industry

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 20th July 2009

The hit that few people saw coming has soared to an Australian ratings record, putting special events like the AFL Grand Final and Australian Idol finales well and truly in the shade.

Over 3.7 million tuned in last night as MasterChef Australia delivered the highest rating non-sport telecast since ratings began, with only the Hewitt-Safin Australian Open Final and 2003 Rugby World Cup Final surpassing it this century. What was so spectacular about its success was its ability to capture the imagination of such a broad range of demographics, making Channel Ten cry with delight while the other networks cringed with envy.

For those who missed last night’s finale, mother-of-three Julie Goodwin edged out Adelaide artist Poh Ling Yeow in all three challenges. The final task, the creation Aria’s Chocolate Tart – one of Matt Moran’s signature dishes, showed just how far the two had come in front of a judging panel that included Curtis Stone as well as regulars George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston. Prior to the final challenge, Julie and Poh had both erroneously said that port was in Gary’s bourguignon, while Julie used a number of techniques learnt from the likes of Adrian Richardson and Donovan Cook to surpass the score of Poh in the invention test.

Beyond the success for both Julie and Channel Ten, there are a number of other winners from the phenomenonal performance of the show, according to Corporate Brand Developers Managing Partner Susie Cole.

“MasterChef has helped many people rediscover their love of food and will bring greater experimentation to kitchen,” she told Australian Food News. “This is likely to see a surge in demand for a range of grocery products that have often been neglected by the average Australian.”

Such products that could get a ‘leg up’ include a range of herbs and spices from dill to sage and thyme, and cheaper cuts of meat – as people replicate the style of early favourite Chris Badenoch.

Restaurants could also receive a boost as people become more excited about high quality food. The restaurants of the renowned chefs that have appeared on the show, in particular, can expect to gain out of their participation with an increased flow of customers. Importantly for the restaurant industry, the show could also help cure the skills shortage that has been threatening the sector for years.

“Expect the number of contestants to soar next year as more Australians dare to dream of becoming a leading chef,” Susie advised. “With more young people considering the prospect of cooking for a living, the hospitality sector can expect a new wave of budding chefs signing up for apprenticeships and at cooking schools as working in a commercial kitchen takes on a more glamorous cache than the long houred drudgery of old.”