Can You Cheat Your Way Through 'MasterChef'? Some Believe the Contestants Receive Recipes

Leila Kozma - Author

May 31 2023, Updated 3:42 p.m. ET

gordon ramsay giving contestant advice on masterchef season 21
Source: FOX

The cooking competition show MasterChef continues to draw in more and more viewers thanks to its fast-paced editing, suspenseful scenes, and, of course, a fair bit of roasting by legendary show host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay.

The format has changed considerably over the years, but one aspect has stayed the same. Contestants can only proceed if they manage to wow the judges. So, do they ever get the recipes in advance?

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Do 'MasterChef' contestants get recipes?

Each season of MasterChef features contestants trying to prove that they have what it takes to wow the judges and win the competition. Some contestants have already earned accolades. But what happens to the less skilled contestants? Do they ever get a copy of the recipe they have to cook?

contestant on season 21 of masterchef
Source: FOX
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MasterChef garnered popularity among viewers thanks to its adrenaline-drenched challenge scenes. But some skeptical fans have long wondered how realistic of a portrayal the show provides since not everything that takes place in the studio makes it to the edits. Nonetheless, the contestants are highly unlikely to receive a copy of the recipes in advance.

One former contestant said that the home chefs get to attend training and cooking classes.

As a 2014 article by MailOnline claims, some MasterChef contestants might have enjoyed the opportunity to perfect the art of whipping up a mean creme patisserie or create the perfect pie crust at cooking classes. The article is based on a blog post by a former contestant but doesn't reference the post itself, which makes it hard to verify.

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contestant and judges from season 21 of masterchef
Source: FOX

"[We took] baking component classes including how to make pastry cream, sponge cake, cobbler, shortbread, and pie crusts, etc. The entire show is not at all how it seems," the MasterChef hopeful reportedly wrote.

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Even if it's true that the MasterChef contestants get a chance to learn or brush up on certain methods, that's obviously not the same thing as having a written recipe to refer to while they're cooking in the MasterChef kitchen. In other words, they really just that talented!

Judges have to wait a considerable time before they get to evaluate the dishes, Christina Tosi says.

Guest judge Christina Tosi once told Lucky Peach that by the time the MasterChef judges MasterChef actually taste the food, it has already gotten cold.

"Because every dish you see on TV looks, well, beautiful, there is always downtime between 'Time's Up!' and when we taste," she said. "And we don't taste all of the food at once because you just can't taste 20 dishes at the same time while they're all still hot."

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contestants and judges from masterchef season 21
Source: FOX

"The second that time's up and we know there will be a lapse, we go directly to each cook's station and inspect each element so that nothing can be lost in the transition," she added. "Keep in mind that we taste the food at each cook's station as they work, so we have a good idea of who's looking good and who is going down in a ball of flames."

Catch new episodes of MasterChef every Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST on FOX.

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