BRITISH culinary great Marco Pierre White takes over MasterChef Australia this week.
The acclaimed chef, known as the "godfather" of modern cuisine, will surprise the show's amateur cooks with his first appearance on the reality cooking show tonight.
"There are some great cooks amongst them and they're all very nice, hard-working people," White told APN.
"What's interesting is these contestants want to be pushed. They want to be taught. They're enjoying this moment in their life; it's special."
One young cook in particular will impress White in tonight's Italian challenge.
Promotional footage aired by Channel 10 shows White telling 18-year-old Laura Cassai: "When I was your age I could not have cooked a dish to that quality".
Those are big words coming from someone who, at the age of 33 became the youngest chef to earn three Michelin stars.
White is known for training well-known chefs including Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal.
White spent several months in the country last year filming MasterChef: The Professionals with Matt Preston, the TV franchise's cravat-wearing food critic.
"The difference between the professionals and the amateurs is the professionals tend to be classically French trained," White said.
"With the amateurs their repertoire might not be as broad but their vision is wider. They might know a bit about Chinese, Japanese, Italian and Spanish cuisine."
White has appeared on more than a dozen cooking shows around the world, including several of the MasterChef franchises.
He takes a no-so subtle swipe at My Kitchen Rules, MasterChef's younger, flashier competitor on our airwaves.
"One thing you can say about MasterChef is it's not manufactured," he said.
"What happens is real; it's not staged,
"In my opinion it's the greatest cooking show on Earth."
This year White celebrates the 25th anniversary of the release of his seminal cook book White Heat.
He will release a special anniversary edition of White Heat featuring previously unseen images by photographer Bob Carlos Clarke.
"All the archives have been opened," he said.
"I don't look at them (the photos) and think it's me. I just see them as photographs taken by a great photographer who's captured a moment in time."
MasterChef Australia airs Sundays through Thursdays at 7.30pm on Channel10.
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