Heather the studio audience member

Heather the studio audience member

Written by Heather

Topics: Life in Oz

In the last year, quite a few interesting opportunities have come my way, and I’ve been able to try many new things. I’ve appeared on TV; modeled; belted out show tunes, pop, and R&B at karaoke; and experienced SCUBA diving for the first time.

With my love of food and knack for appearing on Australian TV, I jumped at the chance to be in the studio audience of a cooking show my last week in Oz.

Months ago, Adam submitted a request to be in the studio audience of channel Ten’s popular show Ready Steady Cook. A few weeks ago, he received an email inviting him to one of several tapings, and we booked in straight away.

I must admit, I’ve only watched a few minutes of maybe five episodes in the last year. While I love watching cooking shows like Top Chef in the US and Master Chef in Australia, Ready Steady Cook never captured my attention. That wouldn’t keep me from going behind the scenes, however, to watch the filming of two episodes. Maybe I’d even get a few free nibbles of food?!

We hopped on an early train, joining dozens of commuters in suits headed to the city. It felt good not to be on the way to work :-)

We arrived at Ten’s studios in time for the light refreshments they had promised. I didn’t expect much from “light refreshments” but surely they intended to offer more than the plate of store bought biscuits/cookies, a pitcher of water, and black coffee. I’m not complaining — I ate breakfast and didn’t plan on eating what I assumed would be juice and pastries. I’m simply surprised that a cooking show on a major network only provided a few cookies on a plate.

Ready Steady Cook studio audience

Ready Steady Cook features a 20-minute cook off between two Australian chefs, each with their own unique bag of ingredients. Both chefs have an “assistant” — these assistants are friends or family members who have previously participated in the studio audience. The show’s host spends a lot of time interviewing the assistants, learning about their cooking background and hobbies, so they have little time to actually chop, dice, and mix. It’s all about the two chefs whipping up several dishes in a limited time frame. Finally, the studio audience votes whether the Tomato or Capsicum (that’s a bell pepper for most of you reading this) team prepared the best dish.

A break in filming
Ready Steady Cook

I had heaps of fun witnessing the making of two episodes from start to finish. First, the audience “warm up” woman was fantastic at her job — she kept us cheering and clapping time after time. She chatted with people throughout the audience, made jokes with ease, and held a talent competition during a longer break. Second, while we didn’t get to taste the dishes, we could certainly appreciate the efforts of the chefs. Adam and I were both impressed with the speed in which they brainstormed a menu, prepared and cooked the ingredients, and plated the dishes. When it came time to vote for a winner, we simply selected Tomato or Capsicum based on which chef’s creation we’d most like to eat. And yes, we had a large card to hold up for voting — one side with a giant tomato and the other featuring a capsicum.

We also were some of the first people to meet Colin, the show’s new host. Apparently he’s so new that the episodes on TV at the moment still feature the previous host. Adam and I thought he did a great job, so I decided to say hi after filming. He was surprised to hear my accent and seemed fairly impressed that an American has lived in Australia for a year and not just popped over for a 1 or 2-week holiday.

Colin, the new host of Ready Steady Cook

I have no clue when the two episodes will air, but I’m going to keep an eye on the Ready Steady Cook website from home. Hopefully a friend in Australia can record it and send it my way (*hint*!). And hopefully a friend in the US will join me on a studio audience adventure in the next year!

Featured image taken by Brooke. Has nothing to do with this post but I wanted to use it.

13 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Sounds like a rockin’ time. Did you holler or holla? Oh I was there.

  2. Laura says:

    I was in a studio audience in LA in high school for some late late night show. It was the only thing we could get tickets to day of. A comedian came out on commercial breaks and told the dirtiest jokes I’ve ever heard… which was fine except for the fact that I was with my friend and her mother (who was horrified!). All in all though, good times :) I’d do it again, except just pick a more interesting show! Sounds like the cooking show was fun! Too bad you didn’t get to sample the dishes.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Don’t forget, VHS tapes run on different speeds: NTSC (N. America and Japan) vs. PAL (the rest of the world)

    DVD is a little less testy.

    Hopefully someone will pop that baby up on youtube for maximin exposure! Sounds like an awesome experience!

    • Heather says:

      Yeah, was hoping a friend would record it and get the video file online :-) Already thinking of getting an all-regions DVD player since I want to have the capability to watch whatever!

  4. Nicole says:

    I was so bummed to miss out on this even though I’ve never seen (or actually even heard of) the show! 0:-) I’ll have to check it out now for sure!

    BTW, love the pic of you with the boxing kangaroo – LOL. ;)

  5. Erica says:

    The thing that would make cooking shows hard to watch would be the fact that you are smelling all the food and cannot eat it. D:

  6. Kyle says:

    I’m sure something like this is way more entertaining to watch in real life! I’ve always wanted to see how they film cooking shows…does everything really move as fast as it seems to?

    • Heather says:

      The pace didn’t seem chaotic, but it definitely was fluid and the chefs used every second afforded to them. After the clock officially hit zero, the chefs usually had a *little* bit more time without the cameras on to finish plating or tidy things up so it would like nice on camera. Since the host took up part of their cooking time with talking, production gives them a little extra time to tie up loose ends before the camera comes back from the commercial break time :-)

  7. Bernadette canny says:

    I would like my daughter & I to be a part of your audience on ready steady cook.

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