Cooking doesn’t get more enlightened than this! No, we're not feeding you a line, Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama is to make a guest appearance on the Australian version of MasterChef.
The religious guru, currently on a 12-day tour of Australia, has filmed a section for the new series of the cookery show - a spin-off of the UK format - in which he tasted seven dishes specially designed for him.
Hopefully, the MasterChef contestants boned up on the Lama’s culinary likes and dislikes (apparently, the 75-year-old is not keen on seafood or anything greasy or oily) but if he didn't enjoy their dishes, it’s unlikely he spent too much time moaning about it. Despite being presented as a “guest judge”, the strict Buddhist stuck to his religious beliefs and did not pass judgement on any of the food he was served.
And while the contestants may not have received much constructive criticism from His Holiness, it seems they got a spiritual boost from his presence. Regular MasterChef Australia judge Gary Mehigan confirmed that the contestants were on a high following his appearance, with some even reduced to tears.
“They were speechless, they just couldn't believe it," said Mehigan. "Cooking for the Dalai Lama - it doesn't get much better than this!”
Fellow judge Matt Preston said the religious leader’s decision to appear on the show was a surprise but made sense given his beliefs:
"The Dalai Lama is famously quoted as saying, 'I sometimes think that the act of bringing food is one of the basic roots of all relationships,' and this is what we aspire to on MasterChef," said Preston.