AUSSIE FARMERS: Producers including Austchilli's Trent De Paoli (left) and Bunda Ginga's Anthony Rehbein (second from right) on Masterchef on Sunday night.
AUSSIE FARMERS: Producers including Austchilli's Trent De Paoli (left) and Bunda Ginga's Anthony Rehbein (second from right) on Masterchef on Sunday night.

Bundy's produce stars on Masterchef

IT'S not often you get Bundaberg produce under the nose of 600,000 Australians but on Sunday night, two local farmers went on one of the country's biggest TV shows.

605,000 people tuned in around the country to watch Masterchef contestants choose from an array of produce from ten growers across Australia - and among them were Austchilli's Trent De Paoli and Bunda Ginga's Anthony Rehbein.

Making up 20% of the country's best produce, the pair showed Bundaberg were "punching above our weight," Mr Rehbein said.

The top contestant on the night had the opportunity to choose three offerings from the ten farmers, who were introduced by celebrity chef Curtis Stone.

While it was Mr De Paoli's third year in a row on the show, Mr Rehbein sat in the makeup chair and got a taste of showbiz for the first time.

FRESH AS IT GETS: Australian produce including Bunda Ginga ginger powder and Austchilli mini capsicums on the set of Masterchef on Sunday night.
FRESH AS IT GETS: Australian produce including Bunda Ginga ginger powder and Austchilli mini capsicums on the set of Masterchef on Sunday night.

The ginger grower described the slickly organised shoot back in February as "a strange but humbling experience".

"Everyone's microphoned up, they have young people sort you out and tell you where to stand and what to do," he said.

"I wish I had time to talk to the judges.

"They took our phones off us and we had to sign a contract saying we wouldn't talk about who the contestants were."

In the end, Victorian construction co-ordinator Sam picked South Australian kingfish and capers and mini turnips from NSW over Austchilli's poblano chillies and Bunda Ginga's ground ginger.

"You've got to be in it to win it," Mr Rehbein said.

"As farmers you've got to be a grower but you've also got to promote and market your product.

BUNDY REPRESENT: Austchilli's Trent De Paoli and Bunda Ginga's Anthony Rehbein on the set of Masterchef on Sunday night.
BUNDY REPRESENT: Austchilli's Trent De Paoli and Bunda Ginga's Anthony Rehbein on the set of Masterchef on Sunday night. Eliza Goetze

"(The three growers chosen) market their product very well.

"The real benefit was getting the chance to talk to other growers and see what they're up to."

Shows like Masterchef had been a boon for farmers, he added.

"How many people take a photo of their food and send it to someone else?

"We're thankful for the (culture) that has made food sexy."

The Rehbeins sat down and watched the show when it went to air.

"For my children, who are in school, it's great for them to see their parents on TV, passionate about their product.

"And I'm sure their friends at school will give them heaps today."

Check out the episode here - and tune in around 27:00 to see the farmers.



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