The judges with special guest, HRH the Prince of Wales

For their 10th season, the MasterChef Australia judges promised a year full of surprises – and they weren’t wrong.

This week, the contestants opened a mystery box to find a $10,000 cheque to help them follow their food dream. 

Now they will be whisked away to Darwin to cater for a royal reception for the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles – the most famous guest in MasterChef history worldwide.

It’s sure to be a melting pot of nerves and intense pressure - even more so than normal. 

Speaking to Now to Love Australia, judge Matt Preston admitted it wasn’t just the contestants who were feeling the pressure during filming.

“We were all very nervous,” Preston says. “It was one of those pinch-yourself moments.”

Gary Mehigan speaks to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

“One of the great things about Prince Charles, is that he has a 40-year history with sustainability and organic, farming food. He wanted us to show him local and seasonal produce. He knows his stuff.”

With that in mind, the contestants were asked to hero native and indigenous flavours in their menu.

Judge Gary Mehigan also had a chat to Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall.

She shared a few tips on what would impress her husband and revealed the one thing she wouldn’t want to see served at a royal reception. 

Battling their nerves, the clock and the extreme heat of Australia’s Northern Territory, who will reign supreme?

The royal challenge airs Friday 14 September at 7.30pm on TVNZ 1, or catch up on TVNZ OnDemand.