MasterChef Australia has a different format from that of the original British MasterChef and MasterChef Goes Large formats. Initial rounds consist of a large number of hopeful contestants from across Australia individually "auditioning" by presenting a food dish before the three judges in order 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 that test their food knowledge and preparation skills. In Season 1, the top 50 competed until 20 were left, with the final 20 progressing to the main stage of the show. From Season 2, 24 contestants progress. 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, the chance to have their own cookbook published, and A$250,000 in cash.