MasterChef Pakistan (Urdu: استاد خانساماں پاکستان) is a Pakistani competitive cooking reality television game show based on the hit international format MasterChef. It is produced by Paragon Productions, an in-house production arm of Urdu 1 (the broadcasting channel), under licence from Shine Group. Restaurateur and Chef Khurram Awan, Chef Zakir Qureshi and Chef Mehboob Khan serve as the show's main judges and presenters.
Launch event for series held at Khursheed Mahal, Avari Towers Karachi on April 7, 2014. In the event official announcement of series revealed, where curtain was raised from the judges of first series, Chef and Executive Asst. Manager Khurram Awan of Movenpick Hotels Karachi and celebrity Chef Zakir Qureshi and Chef Mehboob Khan were revealed to be judging the contestants on a variety of cuisines which will be prepared by them on the show. The event was hosted by food enthusiast Sidra Iqbal. Peter Heyword the high commissioner of Australia was invited as a guest of honor for inauguration of franchise first series in Pakistan.
The first episode of season one aired on May 3, 2014 and series finale was broadcast on 27 July 2014. The first series was won by Ammara Nouman, a 33 years old housewife from Karachi. Knorr serve as a main sponsor for season one and co-sponsorship rights are owned by Ariel, Shan and 7 Up are the main food transitories.
MasterChef Pakistan features a different format to that of the original British MasterChef and MasterChef Goes Large formats. Initial rounds consist of a large number of hopeful contestants from across Pakistan individually "auditioning" by presenting a food dish before the three judges to gain one of 50 semi-final places. Entrants must be over 18 years old and their main source of income cannot come from preparing and cooking fresh food in a professional environment.
The semi-finalists then compete in several challenges which test their food knowledge and preparation skills. As of Season 1, the top 50 will competes until 20 will left, with the final 20 progressing to the main stage of the show. The contestants will then be whittled down through a number of individual and team-based cooking challenges and weekly elimination rounds until a winning MasterChef is crowned. The winner plays for a prize that includes chef training from leading professional chefs, title of MasterChef, the chance to have their own recipe book published, and PKR 5,000,000 in cash, while Runner-up and 2nd Runner up awarded Rs. 1 million and 500,000 with series trophy respectively.
MasterChef Pakistan airs two episodes a week Saturday and Sunday. Each episode features a different format, however some episodes modify the format slightly. The typical episode formats are as follows:
Saturday is the Challenge night. In season 1 it mainly features themed based challenges, including a Mystery Box, where each contestant is given the same box of ingredients and are to create a dish using only those ingredients. These dishes are then tasted, and a winner chosen. There can also be Off-Site Challenges and Team Challenges, which often involve cooking for large numbers of people. The top three contestants who made the best dishes are selected by the judges, from which a winner is chosen to compete in the Immunity Challenge or may be for Advantage. After this the bottom three are revealed, who will face off in an elimination challenge the next night. In the first series, it would always consist of a Theme challenge, then winner from that get saved from the face-off (elimination) challenge.
Sunday is the Elimination night. In which bottoms from the theme challenge faces elimination challenge, which may includes Mystery Box challenge, Time pressure challenge or some cooking techniques challenge. First season follows simple format, means one day kitchen challenge, Team Challenge, Offsite challenge or miscellaneous challenge and other day they face the consequences of previous challenge.
As of first season MasterChef Pakistan is hosted and presented by three professional and internationally acclaimed Pakistani Chefs, Chef Zakir Qureshi, Chef Mehboob Khan and Chef Khurram Awan. Chef Zakir Qureshi is a well known Pakistani celebrity chef and cooking expert, he is famously known for his cooking show Dawat on Masala TV. Started his career in 1980 through Sheraton Hotel as a chef in Karachi. While Chef Mehboob Khan is much older and well known celebrity chef started his career in late 90s and give his first appearance on a cooking show called The Cooking King and Spice of Life where he garnered a great attention as a cooking expert after commencing shows of Healthy living life, currently he is exhibiting a show Weekend Masala on Masala TV. Third Chef is a critic and food expert and off-screen internationally acclaimed Pakistani Chef Khurrum Awan who serve as a GM for chain of Hotels across the world and currently he is a Chief Executive Assistant of Director of Food & Beverage at Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts in Karachi.
The show first season premiered on May 3, 2014, with the selected 100 contestants from the auditions occurred in three major cities of Pakistan Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi. Auditions started from March 13 and lasted till 24 March. At auditions people showed extravagant enthusiasm which led to an extension in Lahore for a day; similar to Karachi, auditions were extended for two more days.
The first season of MasterChef Pakistan won by Ammara Noman who defeated Gulnaz and Madiha in series Finale on July 27, 2014. Ammara received series title, Rs. 5 million and a contract of her own recipe book, while Gulnaz stood as a Runner-up and received Rs. 1 million with series trophy. Madiha came up as 2nd runner-up and received Rs. 5 lack and series trophy.
MasterChef Pakistan became the first ever Pakistani reality show to be nominated for an international accolade. It was nominated as a "Best Adaptation of an Existing Format" in Program Category section for 19th Asian Television Awards. Losing against Junior Masterchef Swaad Ke Ustaad from India, the series was "highly commended" by the jury against other nominees."7 Reasons You Should Watch MasterChef Pakistan". brandsynario. Ghazala Sulaiman. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
Ahmer Naqvi. "Adding the desi tarka to MasterChef". DAWN.com. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
"MasterChef sizzles hot with foody drama". DAWN.com. Ahmer Naqvi. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.