Advertisements have started running to promote the next season of Masterchef Australia with a prized Illawarra cook featuring in one of the teasers.
In the clip Gina Ottaway stands before judges George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston with her controversial dish ‘gnoccheloni’ (a combination of Italian classics gnocchi and cannelloni). The video ends with concerned looks on the judges faces and a voice-over asking ‘will this nonna be a goner?’.
Publicity for the reality cooking competition simply says “coming soon” without a given date as to when episodes will begin airing. While there is no detailed information about the background of the current new round of contestants.
However, we do know this nonna is no klutz in the kitchen.
In 2011 the Flinders foodie was crowned Australia’s Super Cook, telling the Mercury at the time she was “addicted” to cooking and loved making multiple dishes at a time.
"I have met so many chefs - Manu [Feildel], George[Calombaris], Gary [Mehigan] - you name it, I've met them,” the then 49-year-old said.
"Mum used to always cook for us, but it was always the more basic things, whereas I'm very experimental and I like to push the boundaries but some things just don't work out."
At the time Ms Ottaway said her dream was to have her own television show on the evolution of food in a multicultural society.
I'm very experimental [in the kitchen] and I like to push the boundaries but some things just don't work out.Gina Ottaway
The 2018 season of Masterchef looks like producers have cranked it up a notch with guest appearances by Gordon Ramsay, Nigella Lawsonn and his Royal Highness Prince Charles.
Also on the show this year is a nail-biting challenge featuring the legendary Melbourne Football Club, a challenge in the hills of the Dandenong Ranges, and a week exploring picturesque South Australia, with challenges among the vines of the Barossa Valley and in the hustle and bustle of Adelaide’s CBD.
Familiar faces making a return include Shannon Bennet as mentor, last year’s winner Diana Chan joins winners from every other past season (yes, Julie Goodwin will return), plus Maggie Beer, Curtis Stone, Alla Wolf-Tasker, Darren Purchese and Adriano Zumbo.
The ultimate winner walks away with $250,000 and a monthly column in Delicious magazine.
It comes as another Illawarra face has popped up on reality television. Albion Park tradie Tim Karkowski, 24, is currently through to the knockouts on The Voice.