The second season of the Vietnamese version of international reality cooking show MasterChef has officially opened.

The show invites amateur cooks, both Vietnamese and Vietnamese overseas, to take part in the contest that carries a prize money of 500 million VND (25,000 USD) and a chance to publish their own cookbook.

The 20-episode Vietnam MasterChef will be aired every Sunday night at 8pm on VTV3, starting from May 2014.

The first edition of the contest, which ended three months ago, was won by Vietnamese Australian Ngo Thanh Hoa. He is planning to open a restaurant and has an upcoming cookbook in hand.

First runner-up Phan Quoc Tri has joined several events to promote Vietnamese cuisine in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He is looking for a scholarship to go abroad and continue pursuing his passion for cooking.

Top 3 finisher Phan Thang Thai Hoa is already the face for several food brands and plans to launch a cookbook next January, while Top five finisher Quang Huy is co-operating with Lan Huong (Top 11) and Kim Quyen (Top 7) to open the Dam Da Trach restaurant in Hanoi.

Anh Thu, who finished in 9th position, is collaborating with the Kim Dong Publishing House to translate a cooking book for children, apart from writing a book on making cakes that will carry her own story with each recipe.

The contest, which is organised by VTV3 and BHD with the sponsorship of Unilever’s Knorr and Cif brands, sees people who have a passion for cooking competing against each other to win top prizes.

Originating from a UK TV cooking game show created in 1990, the show is now produced in more than 35 nations and shown in over 200 countries. The most popular versions are in the US and Australia.-VNA