To kick things off, series nine starts with contestants cooking their signature dish in one hour for an automatic entry to the Top 24. Twenty contestants receive three "yes" votes and win their way through to the main competition while the second-chance contestants, with one or two "yes" votes, cook again in the next episode.
With guest appearances in the first few weeks from the likes of Australian cooking legends Maggie Beer, Anna Polviou and Elena Duggan, the competition gets off to a hectic start. And a nice little addition this season is the "Power Pin" which grants the wearer an extra 15 minutes cooking time. Each contestant can only use it once though, so they'd better choose carefully which of the challenges they'll need it in the most.
With more top-name guests chefs - including Yotam Ottolenghi and Heston Blumenthal - and mystery box, invention and pressure tests, MasterChef Australia is back and as good as ever.