ALMOST two million people are tuning into MasterChef Australia, prompting chefs to praise the series as the saviour of the cooking show genre.
Figures from OzTAM, the official source of television audience measurement, show 1.934 million viewers tuned in to the MasterChef Hong Kong Challenge, a ratings bonanza that was only beaten by game two of the State of Origin.
Melbourne recorded the highest number of viewers at more than 600,000, followed by Sydney (558,000), Brisbane (317,000) and Perth (245,000).
The show has made celebrities out of its host and judges, with food critic Matt Preston rocketing to fame due to MasterChef's success.
Celebrity chef Matt Moran told AAP he was thrilled with the resurgence of interest in cooking and good food."What that show is doing is a great thing," said Moran, who owns Sydney's ARIA restaurant.
"The ratings are phenomenal, people are into it and people obviously want to learn more about food.
"As far as I'm concerned, the more that the general public know about food, good food, the better it is for restaurants - they understand the good ones and the bad ones."