MasterChef Season 3: ‘We’ve Gotten tougher,’ Graham Elliot Says

The celebrity judges of MasterChef dish about the upcoming third season's contestants and how the show has changed

MasterChef’s celebrity chef judges (from left to right): Graham Elliot, Gordon Ramsay and Joe Bastianich

MasterChef judges Ramsay, Elliot and Bastianich talk about the show’s upcoming third season

“Our job is to keep bad food from happening to good people,” restaurateur Joe Bastianich explains 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.