"Our job is to keep bad food from happening to good people," restaurateur Joe Bastianich explains to Zap2It from the ultra-hip kitchen enclave of the "MasterChef" studio suite in Hollywood. And on Season 3 of the popular foodie reality competition, primetime's favorite cooks will make sure of it.
Surrounded by chromed-out countertops, closets stocked with the latest in sophisticated foodware and a wine bar ready to accompany the dishes, chefs Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Bastianich offered a preview of the latest installment of the show, which focuses on amateur chefs competing to prove they are anything but average.
"We've got some really unusual contestants this season," notes Ramsay, specifically calling to mind a blind woman who can hold her own with the rest of them. "She could formerly see, so she remembers the scent and look of foods."
Another standout from the first round was a single mom raising her son "on a budget of 10 dollars a day" who can work wonders with very little.
Contestants were chosen from 60,000 applicants, with only 100 making it to the finals. They'll compete on the same set used for sister show "Hell's Kitchen." Along with the fresh batch of hopefuls, producers and writers created new challenges for the new season, with a variety of "twists and turns" so that viewers at home would not be able determine when the task du jour was actually an elimination round.
Plus, despite their "amateur" status, according to the Elliott, the Hollywood chefs will not be cutting any of the new proteges slack this time around.
"We've gotten tougher," he says. "If it tastes like s***, we will let you know."
Both "MasterChef" and the tenth season of "Hell's Kitchen" debut with a two-night season premiere event on Monday, June 4 and Tuesday, June 5 beginning at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.
Photo/Video credit: FOX