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MasterChef Australia: New judges revealed by Channel 10

Channel 10 has confirmed the new judges of MasterChef Australia will be Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo.

The trio will replace the show’s original judges, Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris, who quit earlier this year. 

Andy won MasterChef in 2012, Melissa is a celebrated food critic and Jock is a Scottish-born restaurateur. 

It’s official! Channel 10 has confirmed the new judges of MasterChef Australia will be Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo

Andy Allen won season four of the competitive cooking show in 2012, beating out Audra Morrice and Julia Taylor in the final. 

After winning the show and taking home a whopping $250,000, the hunky chef traveled the world with fellow contestant Ben Milbourne. 

The pair also starred in their own cooking show, Andy & Ben Eat Australia.  

Back on the scene:  Allen Andy Allen won season four of the competitive cooking show in 2012, beating out Audra Morrice and Julia Taylor

Back on the scene:  Allen Andy Allen won season four of the competitive cooking show in 2012, beating out Audra Morrice and Julia Taylor

Goal driven! The former electrician now works as the head chef of Sydney's Three Blue Ducks, which he also co-owns

Goal driven! The former electrician now works as the head chef of Sydney’s Three Blue Ducks, which he also co-owns

The former electrician now works as the head chef of Sydney’s Three Blue Ducks, which he also co-owns.  

‘At first I didn’t know how to harness it, but in 2012 when I somehow managed to win Masterchef, my life completely changed,’ Andy writes on his website.

‘Since then, I’ve been on an incredible culinary journey that’s taken me around the world, across Australia and into people’s homes.’

Familiar face: In 2019, Andy returned to MasterChef as a professional 'Secret Chef', but lost out to Sandeep Pandit in an immunity challenge

Familiar face: In 2019, Andy returned to MasterChef as a professional ‘Secret Chef’, but lost out to Sandeep Pandit in an immunity challenge

New beginnings: 'At first I didn't know how to harness it, but in 2012 when I somehow managed to win Masterchef, my life completely changed,' Andy writes on his website

New beginnings: ‘At first I didn’t know how to harness it, but in 2012 when I somehow managed to win Masterchef, my life completely changed,’ Andy writes on his website 

He added: ‘I love exploring how food and flavour brings people together; it’s fuelled my curiosity and allowed me to meet and work with so many awesome chefs & food producers.’ 

In 2019, Andy returned to MasterChef as a professional ‘Secret Chef’, but lost out to Sandeep Pandit in an immunity challenge. 

In a statement this Thursday, Andy said of his ascension to the MasterChef throne: ‘I entered this competition as a contestant in 2012, somehow I won it, and then I went out into the big, bad wide world of hospitality.’

What can's he do? Since winning MasterChef, Andy (pictured) has penned a book and produced his own YouTube channel

What can’s he do? Since winning MasterChef, Andy (pictured) has penned a book and produced his own YouTube channel 

Heating up the kitchen! Andy is likely to become a favourite among female viewers due to his handsome good looks. Pictured with his partner Alex Davey

Heating up the kitchen! Andy is likely to become a favourite among female viewers due to his handsome good looks. Pictured with his partner Alex Davey 

‘To be asked to be a judge – and to come full circle back to Masterchef Australia – is really flattering and really special. I’m stoked because it means that I’ve done the hard work to be here. You don’t ask Joe Blow to be a judge on Masterchef Australia.’

Melissa Leong is an esteemed food writer, media consultant, radio and television presenter, MC and cookbook editor.   

The glamorous first generation Singaporean Australian is no stranger to the world of cooking competitions, having previously appeared as a judge on SBS’s The Chefs’ Line alongside chefs Dan Hong and Mark Olive. 

Crème de la crème! Esteemed food writer Melissa Leong has been featured on Australian Gourmet Traveller, Restaurant Guide and Time Out Sydney

Crème de la crème! Esteemed food writer Melissa Leong has been featured on Australian Gourmet Traveller, Restaurant Guide and Time Out Sydney

Fashionable foodie: She also regularly appears on Justine Schofield's Everyday Gourmet and Matt Sinclair's The Cook's Pantry, on Channel Ten

Fashionable foodie: She also regularly appears on Justine Schofield’s Everyday Gourmet and Matt Sinclair’s The Cook’s Pantry, on Channel Ten 

All-rounder: The glamorous first generation Singaporean Australian is no stranger to the world of cooking competitions, having previously appeared as a judge on SBS's The Chefs' Line alongside chefs Dan Hong and Mark Olive

All-rounder: The glamorous first generation Singaporean Australian is no stranger to the world of cooking competitions, having previously appeared as a judge on SBS’s The Chefs’ Line alongside chefs Dan Hong and Mark Olive

'I am really looking forward to getting stuck in': In a public statement, Melissa admitted that she was 'shocked' to be given the 'role of a lifetime'

‘I am really looking forward to getting stuck in’: In a public statement, Melissa admitted that she was ‘shocked’ to be given the ‘role of a lifetime’ 

She also regularly appears on Justine Schofield’s Everyday Gourmet and Matt Sinclair’s The Cook’s Pantry, on Channel Ten. 

‘It goes without saying, that it is an honour to be passed the baton and asked to help bring the next chapter to life on a show like Masterchef Australia,’ Melissa said in a statement on Thursday. 

‘It came as a huge surprise for me, and is, without a doubt the opportunity of a lifetime. I am really looking forward to getting stuck in.’  

Culinary king! Rounding out the judging panel is Jock Zonfrillo who trained under the rigors of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White

Culinary king! Rounding out the judging panel is Jock Zonfrillo who trained under the rigors of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White

High-flyer: He is no stranger to high-stress kitchens, having trained under the rigors of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White

High-flyer: He is no stranger to high-stress kitchens, having trained under the rigors of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White

Rounding out the third judging panel is Jock Zonfrillo, a Scottish-born restaurateur who owns Orana in Adelaide. 

He is no stranger to high-stress kitchens, having trained under the rigors of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White. 

Jock, who was named Australia’s 2019 Restaurant of the Year by the Good Food Guide, has also hosted several cooking shows including Nomad Chef, Restaurant Revolution and Chef Exchange. 

He's no stranger to competition! Jock has also hosted several cooking shows including Nomad Chef, Restaurant Revolution and Chef Exchange. Pictured with Jimmy Barnes

He’s no stranger to competition! Jock has also hosted several cooking shows including Nomad Chef, Restaurant Revolution and Chef Exchange. Pictured with Jimmy Barnes 

In an official statement announcing his role as incoming MasterChef judge, Jock said: ‘There hasn’t been a season yet where I haven’t been surprised by just how talented some of the undiscovered cooks are, so much so, that many of them have worked in my kitchen over the years.’

‘I can’t wait to get in that kitchen,’ he enthused.  

Back in 2018, he told the Good Food Guide about how cooking saved him from a heroin addiction: ‘If it wasn’t for food I would have died… Luckily for me, I somehow fluked upon cooking.’    

Who are the new MasterChef Australia judges? 

Jock Zonfrillo

Jock is a Scottish-born restauranteur who owns Orana in Adelaide. 

He is no stranger to high-stress kitchens, having trained under the rigors of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White.

Jock is known for his brand of culinary prowess as the head chef of the award-winning Orana restaurant in Adelaide. 

Melissa Leong 

Esteemed food writer Melissa Leong has been featured on Australian Gourmet Traveller, Restaurant Guide and Time Out Sydney.

She was also a judge on SBS’s competitive cooking show The Chefs’ Line, which makes her a likely candidate for on the revamped MasterChef Australia

Andy Allen

Andy Allen won season four of the competitive cooking show, beating out Audra Morrice and Julia Taylor. 

The former electrician now works as the head chef of Sydney’s Three Blue Ducks, which he also co-owns. 

Previously rumoured to be in the running for the coveted gig were celebrity chefs Curtis Stone, Maggie Beer, Gordon Ramsay, Matt Moran, Nigella Lawson and Poh Ling Yeow. 

The upcoming season of MasterChef: Back To Win will welcome back previous contestants from the previous 11 seasons.  

It will be filmed in Melbourne next year and is set to feature Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Curtis Stone as guest judges throughout the season. 

Done after a decade: Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris wrapped up their  earlier this year

Done after a decade: Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris wrapped up their judge and hosting duties on MasterChef Australia after 10 years on the show 

‘In a nation obsessed with food, we are thrilled to welcome Jock, Melissa and Andy as judges to MasterChef Australia,’ Network 10 chief content officer Beverley McGarvey said. 

‘Their combined culinary credentials coupled with their passion and sheer joy for food, and their relentless enthusiasm to explore ingredients, preparation and cooking methods ensures we are in for a real treat.’

The news comes after it was confirmed George Calombaris, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan will not be returning to MasterChef in 2020. 

Out with the old! Reports have claimed the trio chose to walk away from the program after Ten refused to give them a significant pay boost

Out with the old! Reports have claimed the trio chose to walk away from the program after Ten refused to give them a significant pay boost 

Reports have claimed the trio chose to walk away from the program after Ten refused to give them a significant pay boost.

At the time, George was also facing controversy for underpaying his restaurant staff by nearly $8million between 2011 and 2017. 

In July, the embattled chef was hit with a $200,000 fine, with many viewers calling for him to be dumped from the show. 

In a statement – which avoided mentioning Calombaris’s scandal – Ten’s CEO Paul Anderson claimed the decision to axe the three judges followed months of failed talks with the chefs. 

Mr Anderson said: ‘Despite months of negotiations, Ten has not been able to reach a commercial agreement that was satisfactory to Matt, Gary and George.

‘We would like to thank Gary, George and Matt for their contribution over the past 11 years.’  

End of an era: In a statement - which avoided mentioning Calombaris's scandal - Ten's CEO Paul Anderson claimed the decision followed months of failed talks with the chefs

End of an era: In a statement – which avoided mentioning Calombaris’s scandal – Ten’s CEO Paul Anderson claimed the decision followed months of failed talks with the chefs

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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