By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: If the canapés at last night’s sponsor’s launch were an oracle of the future, this year’s MasterChef Australia season is going to be delicious.

Reigning champ Adam Liaw and Sunbeam CEO David Jackson hosted retailers and media at the launch inside the MasterChef kitchens in Alexandria, which is decked out wall to wall with Sunbeam small appliances.

Jackson spoke passionately of his dedication to supporting Sunbeam’s retail partners with above the line promotions, such as this holistic MasterChef deal and a new advertising campaign that will launch in conjunction with the third season on Sunday night. Sunbeam also sponsors the Junior and Celebrity versions of MasterChef, and the Channel 7 programme My Kitchen Rules.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our very important Sunbeam customers,” said Jackson last night. “It’s very exciting to be in what has become Australia’s most famous kitchen, and we’re only three days away from the premiere of series three (on Sunday).

“It’s also testimony to our success with MasterChef and the team at Fremantle Media.”

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Speaking for the on-air team at MasterChef Australia, host Gary Mehigan sent his regards via a pre-recorded message.

“We’re so glad to have Sunbeam back again, it’s going to be big — this is the one to remember,” said Mehigan. “We love our contestants this year: they’re honest, down to earth and the sort of people that you’ll fall in love with. And they love Sunbeam’s new appliances!”

In a sneak preview of the upcoming series, guests were shown footage of contestants on Bondi Beach, in the puts of a mine and in Kuala Lumpur with Rick Stein. Other top, top chefs featured include Adriano Zumbo, Nigella Lawson and Heston Blumenthal.

Under the watchful eye of King Adam of MasterChef 2, guests, including Beata Lowry from Myer and Wayne Jennings from The Good Guys, feasted on the best range of canapés so far this year. Highlights included fresh prawns with lime and coriander, warm Peking duck pancakes and a tender beef coconut curry. Messrs Preston, Calombaris and Mehigan would have been proud.

The new season of MasterChef Australia starts on Sunday 1 May 2011 on Channel Ten.’s popular MasterChef BrandWatch segment will return on Monday analysing which brands were featured when on Australia’s favourite show.

MasterChef 2 winner Adam Liaw.

Guests at the Sunbeam MasterChef launch.