In the wake of Jock Zonfrillo’s passing, significant changes have been made to the judges’ lineup for the popular reality TV show, MasterChef Australia. The former contestant Poh Ling Yeow will be one of the three new faces to join the panel, while food writer Melissa Leong is set to leave the show. This shake-up brings fresh faces to the culinary competition, and here’s what you need to know about the new additions.
Andy Allen, the MasterChef champion from 2012, will remain a judge for the 2024 season. He expressed the challenges of deciding to return, mentioning the unique ambiance of the MasterChef Australia kitchen that drew him back.
Joining him are Poh Ling Yeow, the runner-up in the show’s inaugural 2010 season, renowned French Michelin-starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, and food writer Sofia Levin. The selection of judges promises a diverse mix of expertise and experiences in the culinary world.
Zonfrillo’s tragic passing earlier this year left a void in the show. He, alongside Allen and Leong, had originally joined MasterChef after the departure of the show’s original judges due to a pay dispute with Network Ten.
Melissa Leong, who has been a beloved part of the show for three years, will be embarking on a new venture. She is set to co-host a cooking reality show titled “Dessert Masters” with pastry chef Amaury Guichon.
Leong took to Instagram to express her gratitude for her time on MasterChef Australia and her excitement for this new chapter in her career. “To have been given the opportunity to learn and grow – and now to be given the vote of confidence to expand and evolve the MasterChef universe is huge!”
Written by Bianca Muller.
Feature image: Masterchef Australia/Facebook