19 December 2016
Sydney’s culinary credentials were the highlight of this weekend’s MasterChef India semi-final episodes, as the judges and remaining six contestants cooked their way across the Harbour city’s most iconic locations.
From Bondi Beach to the Sydney Harbour foreshore, and the Sydney Cricket Ground, judges Vikas Khanna, Kunal Kapur and Zorawar Kalra put the contestants through a series of Master Classes, Pressure Tests and a Mystery Box challenge that saw Samantha Barett, Anagha Godbole, Dinesh Patel, Mirvaan Vinayak, Ashima Arora and Kirti Bhoutika through to the season 5 grand finale.
Sydney was the perfect destination to host the important MasterChef India semi-finals. Home to the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and world-famous beaches, particularly with our food scene dominated by an abundance of local, fresh produce. Sydney really is a haven for food lovers and is one of the world’s favourite culinary capitals.
Combining food and wine experiences, including visiting the Sydney Cricket Ground, shopping for local produce at Bondi Beach, and taking in the beautiful harbour and surrounds, the MasterChef India crew has showcased some of New South Wales’ quintessential produce such as South Coast Oysters, macadamias, John Dory Fish and Lemon Myrtle. Fans of the show are able to add these food and tourist experiences to their own itinerary when planning their visit to Sydney and New South Wales.
Here’s a snapshot of MasterChef India’s visit to Sydney, including where the judges and contestants stayed, ate and explored, all of which are accessible to travellers planning a trip to the Harbour city.
Pier One Sydney was the central accommodation hub for the entire MasterChef India crew. Backing on to the Sydney Harbour waterfront, and close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge the judges and contestants were right in the heart of The Rocks, a historic and must-visit Sydney precinct, and close to the main CBD. Pier One is a perfect accommodation base for international visitors wanting to explore Sydney.
The first stop on the MasterChef India itinerary was a Mystery Box challenge featuring MasterChef Australia judge Matt Preston, set on the backdrop of Sydney’s famous Harbour. Known as the Circular Quay precinct, some of Sydney’s best restaurants are located here; try Aria, Quay, Bennelong in the Sydney Opera House, Cafe Sydney in Customs House, and The Dining Room in the Park Hyatt Sydney.
While staying at Pier One Sydney, dine at The Gantry Restaurant, a one-hatted and award-winning dining destination, which was a regular spot for the MasterChef India judges and contestants. The Gantry features open-air dining and panoramic views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, with a drinks menu that includes native and botanical New South Wales ingredients. This site was also the location for the contestant’s Masterclass session.
Visiting Bondi Beach for the Invention Test challenge, the contestants had one of the most well-known backdrops as their inspiration, with the nearby Bondi Farmer’s Market providing the ingredients. The local market, held adjacent to the beach and open every Saturday, is renowned for its locally-sourced and grown produce. It’s a great destination for international visitors to Sydney wanting to experience some of the best of New South Wales’ seasonal fruit, seafood, meats and herbs and spices.
Sydneysiders and Indians have a great deal in common, none less than our love of cricket. It was only fitting that MasterChef India took to the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) with special guest and cricketing great, Matthew Hayden, for the final challenge – the elimination Pressure Test. For cricket-mad visitors, a trip to the hallowed turf of the SCG is a must. Tours of the stadium and the SCG museum run daily from Monday-Saturday.
Other unique Sydney experiences the contestants and judges enjoyed during their visit included taking a Sea Plane from Rose Bay to Palm Beach and conquering the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. Both activities are a perfect way to grab a glimpse of Sydney’s picturesque Harbour, beaches and coastline from above.
While Sydney is a destination for amazing food, produce and dining experiences, Regional New South Wales has some of the world’s finest chefs, restaurateurs, producers and winemakers. Destination NSW has shortlisted some of the best culinary regions close to Sydney.
Australia’s oldest wine region and two hours’ drive from Sydney, the Hunter Valley is an exceptional food and wine experience. A perfect escape and easily accessible as a day-trip or suitable for a longer stay, discover acclaimed wineries including Keith Tulloch Wine, vineyards such as Hope Estate and Roche Estate, as well as superb restaurants including Muse, Circa 1876 and Two Fat Blokes.
New South Wales’ South Coast restaurants are famous for their superb seafood. Explore the rich variety of this region and be rewarded with fantastic vineyards, exceptional restaurants, and excellent local produce, from amazing cheese to fresh fish and opulent oysters. Visit the acclaimed Rick Stein at Bannisters in Mollymook for a memorable meal of exceptional quality, or experience dining by the water at The River Moruya and Zanzibar Cafe at Merimbula.
Only a 90 minute drive south of Sydney, the Southern Highlands is renowned for its heritage villages and old world charm. Head to Bowral, Bundanoon, Berrima, Mittagong, Moss Vale, and Kangaroo Valley, and discover rustic local eateries and eclectic boutiques. For a memorable fine dining experience, stop in at the award-winning Biota Dining in Bowral, that supports local growers with its menu featuring on seasonal artisan produce.
For food-lovers wanting to travel to Sydney and New South Wales to explore the extraordinary cuisine and native produce, visit this page for exclusive travel packages endorsed by MasterChef India judge, Chef Kunal Kapur.