Network 10’s MasterChef Australia, the iconic cooking program that rewrote the recipe for must-see TV, is delighted to announce the addition of three new judges in 2020.
Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen will take the helm of the show that celebrates food and the love of food.
Jock, Melissa and Andy will be joined in the MasterChef Australia kitchen by a delicious assortment of the world’s best chefs, including Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Curtis Stone, to serve up the 12th helping of MasterChef Australia.
And in 2020, the traditional MasterChef Australia recipe will boast some new ingredients when the best of the best from the past 11 seasons return to the kitchen in MasterChef Australia – Back To Win.
Network 10 Chief Content Officer, Beverley McGarvey, said: “In a nation obsessed with food, we are thrilled to welcome Jock, Melissa and Andy as judges to MasterChef Australia.
“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.”
Endemol Shine Australia CEO, Carl Fennessy, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Jock, Melissa and Andy to the MasterChef Australia family. Jock’s culinary resume across Australia and the United Kingdom puts him in the very elite of contemporary chefs. Melissa’s diverse palate and incredible food knowledge will test our contestants in every way, and Andy brings with him a wealth of experience as a MasterChef Australia winner who’s become one of Australia’s hottest chefs.
“We’re excited to welcome this new generation of judges to the MasterChef kitchen.”
Meet the Judges
Jock Zonfrillo is the owner and chef of three-hatted Restaurant Orana, and Bistro Blackwood in Adelaide. Jock was named Australia’s Hottest Chef in 2018 and has hosted television shows including Nomad Chef, Restaurant Revolution and Chef Exchange, as well as appearing in the MasterChef Australia kitchen as a guest chef across three seasons.
Jock said: “When I think of MasterChef Australia, I think of discovering new talented cooks with fresh ideas and creativity.
“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.”
Few in Australia can boast the culinary credentials of Melissa Leong. An accomplished food and travel writer, food media consultant, radio broadcaster, television presenter, MC and cookbook editor, this first- generation Singaporean Australian isn’t afraid to consume anything at least once.
On being chosen as a judge, Melissa said: “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.
“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!”
MasterChef Australia alumni and season four winner Andy Allen is the epitome of what television’s greatest cooking show is all about.
Since winning MasterChef Australia Andy has travelled Australia and the world pursuing his culinary curiosity. He’s also become co-owner of the Three Blue Ducks, taking on the role of head chef at their Rosebery restaurant, which went on to be awarded a Chef’s Hat – making Andy the first MasterChef Australia contestant to be awarded the highly sought after honour. Andy and the Ducks have since opened a restaurant in Brisbane and are soon to launch another in Melbourne.
Andy said: “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. 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.”
On MasterChef Australia – Back To Win, Jock said: “Having watched this group create their own restaurants, their own businesses and become great chefs in their own right has been amazing.
“But now to see them back, pitting their knowledge against each other in the MasterChef kitchen, sets the stage for the most exciting season yet.”
Melissa added: “Back To Win – it says it all, right? This is the who’s who of MasterChef Australia’s favourites from seasons past. This season, they have an opportunity to show everyone what they’ve been up to and where they are at, in their food evolution.”
“They know how this game works, so they should be prepared to waste no time in showing us what they’ve got.”
Jock, Melissa and Andy will commence filming MasterChef Australia – Back To Win in Melbourne in early 2020. It will air on 10 and WIN Network in 2020.
Stay tuned to see who will return to the kitchen for MasterChef Australia – Back To Win.