The TV networks are looking to lock in their ratings early with MasterChef: The Professionals reportedly set to launch three weeks before the start of the official ratings period.
Insider website TV Tonight reports Network Ten will launch its new-look show, featuring Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White and 18 professional chefs, on January 20.
In what might be seen as a risky move, Ten will put the show up against the Australian Open on the Seven Network.
Seven won't be launching its own hot-ticket cooking show, My Kitchen Rules, until after the tennis wraps up.
However, Ten may be offering an alternative to the summer sporting season for those more interested in vol-au-vents than volleys.