Masterchef and Alfa Romeo: club for a club
Masterchef contestants serve up a club sandwich to car club nuts
Masterchef and Alfa Romeo
This week on Channel 10’s Masterchef program, one episode swapped the featured vehicles from Jeep to Giulietta for part of its ‘Fast Food week’ theme, incorporating the Alfa Romeo brand into the series. With a ‘club’ focus, the result from a series of challenges was to serve a club sandwich to Alfa Romeo car club members.
The contestants on the program were split into two teams and set a number of tasks using four Giuliettas supplied by the program’s sponsor, Fiat Chrysler Australia – two red cars (red team) and two white (blue team). The challenges involved sourcing local produce and core ingredients from the Victorian Mornington Peninsula to complete their tasks successfully and end up making their own take on a club sandwich for car club enthusiasts - the Alfa Romeo Owners’ club. ‘Club for a club’, as it was called.
The three judges, Gary, George and Matt, set the contestants on their "Masterchef Rally" to "speed things up with fast food and fast cars", as they had three hours to complete all challenges. They were given instructions on where to go and what to do. As any car club member who has been involved in a rally/observation/navigation run would attest, understanding a map and instructions within a time restriction on an unfamiliar route (and in some cases, odometer reading), can be a little more than it seems. As the red team discovered when they were totally lost from the beginning and late on every challenge.
Once they found their destinations and completed each task (including grape crushing with feet only and milking a goat), they returned to the Red Hill Estate with their collected ingredients to start cooking in a temporary kitchen with the winery setting as a backdrop.
As the 50 Alfa Romeo members’ cars started to arrive, the pressure was on, as we could hear George push the contestants, saying, "Pedal to the metal, 15 minutes to go."
We were told to position 11 selected cars in a line adjacent and facing the cooking area on arrival. Thirty cars later (number 12 followed, as did 13, 14, 15, etc), the area was completely full of cars. At least these members were seasoned club display day participants, so parking close together in a timely manner was no problem at all. Within a few minutes…done. The remaining cars sorted themselves out quickly to join us.
There was a buzz within all state divisions of the club as they knew the program was close to airing. Some members of the Victorian club gathered at the regular pub room where the monthly meetings are held (complete with bar) to view the program. From the floor, comments like "I hope they washed their feet before getting back into the cars" after the grape crushing started the atmosphere going.
On the program, catchphrases were inevitable, "These members are as passionate about their food as they are about their Alfa Romeos" and of course, "Start your engines, let’s go". Lucy, one of the contestants, had the quote of the night, saying, "I’ve never seen an Alfa Romeo driver in my life! Do they like club sandwiches?" Another contestant and self-confessed "lead-foot", Rishi, said when the members’ cars started arriving, "I had trouble concentrating on what I was doing because all these lovely vintage cars were arriving." From the local pub room, that won points instantly for the red team.
When the challenge was over, Matt Preston had a casual off-camera chat to the club members, noting his favourite car was the Montreal. Some of the contestants were also chatting among the group and said they loved driving the Giuliettas earlier in the day. From the smiles on their faces, you could tell they were genuine. Lynton, dubbed "the goat whisperer" from the other contestants, said, "very impressive cars down there, hope you’re going to take us for a drive later."
Club members were divided on which club sandwich was the winner, but the ultimate decision was up to the three judges. The blue team ended up winning with chicken as the core ingredient.
The program was great exposure for both the Mornington Peninsula region and the Alfa Romeo brand - as well as the car club.
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