Masterchef in Estancia el Ombu : In 2015, John Torode present Argentina as part of the BBC Two series A Cook Abroad, looking specifically at the country’s production, cooking and consumption of beef.


Focus of the episode

The episode explored the history and culture behind Argentina’s great beef production and included John joining a group of gauchos on a working livestock ranch, before ending at a restaurant in Mendoza where cooking beef has become an art form.


Typical beef restaurant in Argentina

Typical beef restaurant in Argentina



MasterChef judge and meat connoisseur John Torode fulfils a lifelong ambition to go to Argentina, where eating beef is a national obsession.


Arriving to the Estancia

After savouring the street food from the barbecues, or ‘asados’, in Buenos Aires, John embarks on an epic road trip to Masterchef in Estancia El Ombu that takes him across the vast pastures of the pampas to Mendoza in the foothills of the Andes. His mission – to find the best piece of steak in the world and the best way to cook it.


masterchef estancia el ombu empanadas recipe estancia el ombu

John Torode from Masterchef program asking for the Argentine recipe in Estancia Tour


Along the way, John discovers that modern industrial farming has changed the landscape of the legendary pampas and threatened a way of life unchanged for centuries.


In order to learn the traditional ways of rearing cattle, he goes native with the gauchos on a working estancia and experiences one of the most authentic barbecues he’s ever had:


If you would like to recreate in some way this masterchef in estancia el ombu experience you can book this Full Day Tour departing daily from Buenos Aires: Asado and Estancia Tour in Areco



Back on the road, when John stops at a truckers’ cafe to have lunch, he has an epiphany. He grasps the secret of cooking with fire.


His final destination is a fabled restaurant in Mendoza, where cooking beef has become an art form. It’s here, among the restaurant’s seven fires, that John learns his final lesson.

More about travelling through the Pampas and argentine food en Español: The Gaucho Experience


masterchef estancia el ombu asado tour buenos aires

Barbecue at the Estancia


About the Masterchef in Estancia El Ombu

John Douglas Torode (born 23 July 1965) is an Australian celebrity chef.


He moved to the UK in the 1990s and began working at Conran Group’s restaurants. After first appearing on television on ITV1’s This Morning, he started presenting a revamped MasterChef on BBC One in 2005.

He is a restaurateur; former owner of the Luxe and a second restaurant, Smiths of Smithfield. He has written a number of cookbooks.

An easy way to reach San Antonio de Areco in a regular bus: “Arecobus