- They've been negotiating salary with Network 10 for months
- The channel and the judges couldn't reach a commercial agreement
- MasterChef Australia 11 aired its final episode recently
The hosts of Australian television's popular and long-running MasterChef cook-off have walked out of the kitchen en masse amid a dispute over pay. Producers announced that Tuesday night's season finale was the last time Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris would adjudicate exotic dishes ranging from adobo to sambal.
The TV programme is watched by more than a million Australians and has a huge following overseas.
The programme's Facebook explainer on How To Eat A Dumpling was viewed 27 million times, according to CBS-owned broadcaster Network 10.
"Despite months of negotiation, 10 has not been able to reach a commercial agreement that was satisfactory to Matt, Gary and George," Network 10 said in a statement.
After 11 sensational seasons, we bid a fond farewell to our judges - Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris. For more than a decade, #MasterChefAU has celebrated Australian food and made the culinary dreams of everyday home cooks come true. We thank Matt, George and Gary for being a part of this remarkable MasterChef legacy!
The departure comes after George Calombaris was fined for underpaying staff at his own restaurants by millions of Australian dollars. The country's attorney-general even weighed in on the dispute, suggesting George Calombaris got off lightly with an Aus$200,000 fine.
Speculation has been rife about who might replace the trio, and whether viewers can stomach another serving after their departure.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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