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Heston Blumenthal and MasterChef Australia to Launch 'Secret' Pop-Ups in Melbourne [Updated]

Potential diners will have to follow clues to find them, but the meals will be free.

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Want a free meal and the chance to gawk at reality TV in the making? If you live in Melbourne, Australia and are good at scavenger hunts, you might just be in luck. MasterChef Australia is teaming up with the famously bespectacled British chef  Heston Blumenthal to launch a series of four pop-up restaurants there next month, and meals will be completely free.

As part of Channel 10's "Heston Week," the chef of Fat Duck and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal fame will serve as a guest judge and mentor to MasterChef contestants, who will be doing the cooking at said pop-ups. Don't expect to just waltz on in, however: The location of each pop-up will be top secret. To snag a seat, wannabe diners will first have to decipher clues posted to MasterChef Australia's social media accounts, as well as explain why they should be able to attend the pop-up in 25 words.

Blumenthal himself won't be cooking at the pop-ups, but hey — a free meal is a free meal. Tickets to last year's Fat Duck pop-up in Melbourne were quite the hot item, with scalpers demanding sky-high prices of $1,000 or more. Meanwhile, Rene Redzepi's hallowed Copenhagen restaurant Noma is currently stationed in Sydney for a ten-week pop-up restaurant. Despite its hefty price tag of more than $300 per person, seats for the Noma pop-up sold out in 90 seconds and the waitlist is a jaw-dropping 27,000 names long.

POST UPDATE 1/17 8:45 a.m.: A previous version of this post indicated Blumenthal himself would be cooking at the pop-ups; the cooking in fact will be left to the MasterChef Australia contestants.

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