Cooking for India: world’s longest demo

3rd June 2021 | Eativity editors

Former MasterChef judges Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris are set to reunite for the first time in 18 months in a marathon cooking special to raise funds for COVID-19 relief efforts in India. The South Asian nation holds a special place in the hearts of the three – they all have a long association with the country, having visited many times.

The live event will run from 3pm AEST on Saturday, June 19 to 3am AEST on Sunday, June 20. It will include cooking demos, conversations with the three hosts in the kitchen, guest appearances by renowned local chefs and personalities as well as live crosses to globally-recognised chefs and cooks from around the world.

Good things really can come in threes: the famous foodies are using their profile to help COVID-ravaged India.

Preston, Mehigan and Calombaris will spend the 12 hours together, hosting live demos and interviewing culinary friends from around the world while cooking their favourite dishes.

The live stream will cross to cities across the globe, and viewers everywhere will have the opportunity to interact with the three hosts, ask questions in real time and chew the fat with international stars of the culinary world, including Heston Blumenthal and Massimo Bottura; beloved Aussie chefs including Shannon Bennett, Karen Martini and Manu Fieldel; and MasterChef alumni Justine Schofield, Khanh Ong, Sashi Cheliah and Poh Ling Yeow.

Some of India’s most famous chefs will also be joining the event, including Manu Chandra and Ranveer Brar, as will Bollywood actress Vidya Balan.

Oxfam India delivers PPE and safety kits to a rural hospital.

Currently, India is in the midst of the worst COVID-19 outbreak the world has yet seen, recording more than 400,000 cases a day at its peak, with thousands of deaths daily. The mission for Preston, Mehigan and Calombaris is to bring together the international culinary community to raise as much money as possible to support the relief efforts.

According to Oxfam India, which will be one of the charities benefitting from funds raised, just $15 will provide much-needed PPE (personal protective equipment) to frontline workers, while $445 will provide an oxygen cylinder to save lives of those affected.

The cooking special will be hosted on YouTube. Viewers can buy a ticket – with prices starting from $30 – to tune in, with all proceeds going to charities in India that are supporting people affected by the pandemic. There’ll also be an opportunity to donate additional funds, with all money raised to go to charities Oxfam India, SEEDS India and Goonj. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite at eventbrite.com.au. Additional donations can be made through Give2Asia Australia at give2asia.org