Do MasterChef contestants get recipes?

MasterChef US season 13 contestants

MasterChef is believed to have a strict no-recipe book rule, where contestants cannot bring a book with their recipes onto the show.

MasterChef US has been airing since 2010 and wrapped the eleventh season of the show in September 2021.

The hit culinary reality format series is now preparing for the twelfth season, as the popularity of the Gordon Ramsay-fronted series continues and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Considering that the series is focussed on amateur chefs, the question that has been continually asked is if the aspiring chefs can bring a book with their recipes to help themselves while they are on the show.

The answer to this question is no, as one of the widely known rules is that amateur chefs are not allowed to bring written recipes on set while shooting.

What is MasterChef US?

In the United States, MasterChef premiered in 2010 and would mark the formal introduction of culinary expert and television personality Gordon Ramsay as the face of the series.

Originally, the format of the series was developed in Europe as it first aired on BBC One. Ben Adler, Robin Ashbrook and Adeline Ramage Rooney are credited with developing the format for the show that has since travelled to more countries than the US.

The premise is detailed as, “A nationwide search for the best home cooks in America. One of 50 hopefuls will become a culinary star and one of America's MasterChefs.”

Do MasterChef contestants get recipes?

Considering that MasterChef is dedicated to unearthing new culinary talent as it features amateurs competing for the title of America’s MasterChef and an entry into becoming a professional chef, you would think that the contestants are given some leeway by allowing them to bring a recipe book with their winning recipes.

More so as the first round usually features the 50 hopefuls preparing their signature dishes. However, a strict rule on the show is that the amateur chefs are not allowed to bring recipes while on set.

This is as outside of the fact that the premise of the show is to find a masterchef, but it also aims to find a chef that will be adaptable which is the point of pushing the contestants to their limits during their time on the show.

Therefore, a recipe book would defeat this purpose. Moreover, there are more rules listed below that would surprise you.

The multiple rounds of auditions

A fun fact about the audition process is that there are multiple steps before you can even make it on television.

First, you need to apply, thereafter, there is an open call with the aspiring chefs bringing their signature dishes for judging by a panel of professional chefs. During this time, you will get critique from the panel present.

After this, it might be months until you get a call confirming that you have made it to Los Angeles. There, the final audition will happen where the 100 brought to LA, will be reduced to the final contestants that make it to television.

Be ready for the series production team to be invasive

During the audition process for the 100 contestants that make it to the final audition process, you must be prepared to have the production team invade your privacy in order for them to decide if you will make it to television.

This is as it has been revealed that each of the contestants will undergo a psychological evaluation in order to ascertain your mental health.

Moreover, each hopeful will also need to consent to a background check by the show’s private investigators to ensure that there is no hidden and damaging information that might come out during the show’s television run.

Contestants get paid an allowance

One of the points of interest is whether the chefs in the series are compensated for their time on the series. This is as some either have to quit their jobs or take time off.

Therefore, contestants are said to be paid a weekly allowance. This is besides the production team already covering accommodation, transportation and food for the contestants.

Another detail linked to compensation is that eliminated contestants are allowed to go home immediately after their elimination, rather than wait for the finals.

Final thoughts

MasterChef currently has 11 seasons of the US Gordon Ramsay-fronted spin-off of the successful franchise which has other spin-offs in countries including Australia, Canada and South Africa.

Now the show is preparing for its upcoming twelfth season that is set to commence in the second half of the year.

One of the consistent rules throughout the series run has been that the amateur chefs are not allowed to take their recipes or recipe books onto the set where their challenges are shot.

This is as this action would defeat the premise, which is to find a masterchef, who is not only talented but adaptable.