Here’s How Much the Contestants of “MasterChef Australia” Get Paid During Their Time on the Show

MasterChef Australia 2023 Contestant iNstagrams
Network Ten

Since publishing this story, Network Ten has announced the death of MasterChef Australia judge, Jock Zonfrillo on April 30, 2023. MasterChef Australia Secrets and Surprises will now premiere on Sunday, May 7, with the full support of Zonfrillo’s family.

MasterChef Australia” is finally here and we couldn’t be more excited. The popular cooking show returns with its 15th season “MasterChef: Secrets & Surprises” on May 1 at 7:30 pm on 10 and 10 Play.

It’s promising a thrilling culinary adventure with surprise challenges. Judges Jock Zonfrillo, Andy Allen, and Melissa Leong are all set to make their comeback to the show.

We will also see a range of celebrity guest judges make an appearance throughout the season. One of them being Jamie Oliver. Oliver will bring his expertise and intensity to the kitchen with adrenaline-pumping challenges over two episodes, marking his first appearance on the show in over a decade.

With only 18 highly coveted aprons up for grabs, the amateur cooks must bring their A-game and impress the judges to avoid elimination. With a grand prize of $250,000, the stakes are higher than ever.

How Much Do They Get Paid?

Because we’re nosey (and obviously you are too, which is why you’re here), we found out exactly how much the contestants are pocketing — and spoiler alert, it isn’t much.

According to reports, Network Ten pays slightly more than the legal minimum wage. The Sydney Morning Herald revealed that in 2013, the aspiring chefs received an allowance of $630 per week.

In 2011, they were given even less, being paid a measly $500 a week — less than half of the average wage of $1,291 at the time, according to

Previously, former contestant Billy Law spoke about the allowance, saying while he didn’t really feel the pay cut during the show, things definitely took a turn afterwards.

“That’s when the reality hits and it’s then the time to start looking for jobs and to start making money again,” he said.

Of course in saying that, things could have changed since 2013, so it’s unclear how much the 2023 contestants will be paid for their time on the show. Furthermore, appearing on the show helps boost the contestants’ profile, which can result in high-paying opportunities. Not only does the winner receive $250,000, but they also go on to publish cookbooks, host television shows and open their own restaurants.

Take Andy Allen, who is the co-owner of Three Blue Ducks and a judge of “MasterChef Australia”. Not bad for a former electrician from Maitland, NSW. 

“MasterChef Australia: Secrets & Surprises” premieres Monday, May 1 at 7:30 pm on 10 and 10 Play

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