Listen: 'MasterChef Australia' 2021 judge Melissa Leong said there's always quality home cooks to be unearthed
It’s that time of year again, when the evenings get shorter, and we watch a new batch of home cooks battle it out for the title of MasterChef Australia.
After last year’s Back to Win season, where returning contestants came… erm… back to win, 2021 sees a return to a more traditional format, where 24 home cooks face off for the title of Australia’s MasterChef.
Phoning Hope Breakfast from on set in the Northern Territory, judge Melissa Leong explained that although the show has been on air for 12 years, there’s still more quality home cooks to be unearthed.
“There are always home cooks to be discovered,” Melissa said.
“There are so many stories and families and communities that we haven’t even touched yet. I think that’s the wonderful thing about a show like MasterChef, which started in the 90s in the UK and is all around the world in different iterations. As long as there is food there are stories, and that’s why MasterChef is so special.”
Melissa is a food writer and critic, and was recruited as a judge alongside Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo in 2020. Sam asked whether last year’s nerves about how she and her fellow judges would be received have now meant that she can enjoy this season’s premiere even more.
“Firstly, we said ‘yes’ to being us on the show. We didn’t know how we would be received, and we feel very humbled and very fortunate that the audience has decided that they like us, and they get to know us a little bit better through this season,” Melissa said.
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“This year feels more like the first day back at school – there’s new friends to be made, new people to meet, new things to learn – and there’s a lot of excitement that comes with that.”
MasterChef Australia airs at 7.30pm on Channel Ten. Listen to Sam’s full chat with Melissa Leong in the player above.