MasterChef Italia, the Masterclass formed: the challenge lights up

To form the group that will compete in the new edition, twenty competitors between the ages of 19 and 74 from all over Italy and beyond

Twenty contestants, aged between 19 and 74, from all over Italy and beyond, with various influences – in each one’s personal stories – from all over the world: here is this year’s MasterChef Italia Masterclass, which was officially formed yesterday evening and that from next week, every Thursday on Sky and streaming on NOW, will be the protagonist of the new season of the Sky Original cooking show produced by Endemol Shine Italy. Twenty white aprons with their names (and a nickname) sewn on them, some won after having obtained unanimity from the three judges Bruno Barbieri, Antonino Cannavacciuolo and Giorgio Locatelli in the Live Cooking, some after having sweated a lot during the very tense mechanism of the Challenges .

The second appointment with the cooking show, last night on Sky Uno/+1 and on demand, totaled 769,000 average spectators, up by +6% compared to the debut, and a 3.7% share with 72% stay. In detail, the first episode reached 839,000 average viewers and a 3.4% share, with 1,164,076 contacts; then, the second episode of the evening reached 698,000 average viewers, with a 4.04% share and 965,866 contacts.

The positive trend is also confirmed by the result of the debut in the seven days: average of 1 million 939 thousand viewers for the first two episodes with over 2 and a half million unique contacts and a 77% permanence, up +14% compared at the previous season’s kick off.

On social media, the official hashtag #MasterChefIt entered first place in the ranking of Italian Trending Topic yesterday evening and remained there throughout the night (sources: Talkwalker SCR;

In addition to the 9 amateur chefs who had already taken off the ticket for the Masterclass last week, three other competitors received the white apron yesterday evening, all in some way linked to Emilia Romagna: Nicola, 20 years old, from Bagnocavallo (Ravenna), old acquaintance of chef Barbieri as, when he was 12 years old, he was eliminated from Junior MasterChef by “imitating” one of his dishes; his ravioli stuffed with creamed cod and buffalo mozzarella with red prawn tartare and asparagus sauce (for a dish that is not by chance called I fell for it again) earned him an official place in this year’s competition; Luciana, 74 years old from Milan but also born in Romagna (in Pennabili, near Rimini), a successful former advertising woman: her light Tagliatella, with zucchini, courgette flowers and cherry tomatoes on basil and pistachio pesto won over the three judges; and Francesco, born in Trento and now in Cesena, who after a difficult life decided to devote himself completely to his passions, photography and, of course, cooking: his cuttlefish gnocchi with tentacle ragout on cuttlefish ink with sauce of zucchini got full marks.

The Live Cooking closed, the dreaded Challenges arrived from which the last official members of the Masterclass emerged. A total of three steps that determined not only the technical skills and knowledge of the amateur cooks, but also their coolness: at each test, the best could get the gray apron, while the worst had to leave the MasterChef Italia stove, to all the others access the next step, of ever increasing difficulty.

During the first Challenge, the aspiring chefs had to demonstrate dexterity and speed in opening oysters, clams, mussels, cleaning sea urchins and extracting crab meat and murex fruits in 15 minutes. The test rewarded Leonardo, a 20-year-old student of Economics born in Bologna and now moved with his family to Trento, passionate about cooking thanks to his grandmother with whom he used to prepare fresh pasta.

The second Challenge required technique and precision, the mission for the aspiring chefs was to fillet a “book” porgy and bone a pigeon like a glove. At the end of the time the judges tied the white apron around the neck of Lavinia, 22 years old from Chieri (Turin), student of the Master’s degree course in Administration, Control and Accounting Profession at the University of Novara after a three-year degree in Economics and Management; Ivana, a 60-year-old parliamentary assistant from Rome, two children born from her first marriage (she married very young), while her second husband – a former man of the church – disappeared last year; and Roberto, 34 years old, mechanical designer from Fombio (Lodi), engaged, who plays football at an amateur level (he reached the youth teams of Piacenza) and practices tennis and trekking.

In the third and final Challenge, the mission was to reuse the proteins from previous trials to create a toast that was creative and tasty. The last four to celebrate were: Letizia, a 25-year-old social-health worker from Carpi (Modena), who grew up breathing deeply the Emilian culinary traditions that her grandmother taught her; Giuseppe, the organizational director of a medical analysis laboratory in Bari, 43 years old, who puts the Apulian tradition into the pot and a touch of originality, inevitable for him; Ollivier, 45, manager of luxury goods, a mix between Croatia and France in his origins (and also in his culinary influences) and now in Parma together with his partner Domenico; and Mattia, 37 years old, a true Bolzano native, who has always been passionate about cooking, thanks above all to his mother, so much so that since he was a child he has been to over 300 starred restaurants.

All these competitors, promoted yesterday, join the nine already admitted during the first appointment: Francesca, 39 years old, freelance between Italy and China, from Varese and now in Rome; Laura, a 31-year-old Roman architect; Hue, a 27-year-old Vietnamese project assistant now in Florence; Antonio (nicknamed Bubu), a 19-year-old student born in Naples, raised in Cagliari and now in Rome; Rachele, a 34-year-old Milanese active in the fashion world; Francesco, a very nice 29-year-old Roman waiter; Edoardo, a 26-year-old from Varese with a super recognizable moustache; Sara, a 27-year-old employee from Bergamo of Moroccan origins; Silvia, a 55-year-old entrepreneur from Caserta.

Now that the 20 workstations are finally all occupied, the journey of the new MasterChef Italia Masterclass officially starts. The challenge will light up next week, Thursday 29 December always on Sky and streaming on NOW, when the contestants will start to really compete in the stove. Starting with the first, surprising and highly anticipated Mystery Box of the season.