MasterChef judging shake-up for 2024

Melissa Leong stays with Dessert Masters while Andy Allen is joined by new MasterChef presenters in 2024 -including Poh Ling Yeow.

10 has announced hosting changes to its MasterChef Australia franchise for 2024.

Melissa Leong will not be returning to MasterChef but remains with Dessert Masters, in 2024.

Andy Allen will return, joined by Poh Ling Yeow, food critic and journalist Sofia Levin, and multi–Michelin Star award-winning chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli.

Andy said: “MasterChef Australia has been part of my life for over a decade. It gave me a pathway into the industry and led me to a career that I’m forever grateful for. After an extremely difficult year in 2023, and upon reflection, the decision to return to the series is not one I took lightly.

“But there is something special in the MasterChef Australia Kitchen, and it feels right to come back to work with the amazing production team, and to play my role in seeing the contestants do as I have done. 2024 will be the start of a new chapter, and it will be surreal – yet brilliant – to share this moment with my fellow judges, Poh, Sofia and Jean-Christophe.”

Poh Ling Yeow said, “Talk about a thrilling, full circle moment. MasterChef Australia is where my food story began, so this feels like coming home. A big part of me will always be standing on the other side with the contestants and I hope when they look to me, they see proof you don’t have to win to win.”

Sofia said: “The first season of MasterChef Australia aired the same year I started writing about food. By the time I graduated from journalism, I was sharing lesser-known food stories, while the show was exposing the nation to cuisines and cultures they had never considered before. Becoming a judge on MasterChef feels like two parallel paths converging, and I am giddy with excitement at the people I get to stand beside.”

Jean-Christophe said: “Fostering culinary talent is something I have cared about for many years, and it is a passion I am excited to share in the MasterChef Kitchen. Australian cuisine has a remarkable reputation on the world stage, and it will be a great privilege to meet and mentor the country’s top home cooks on their journeys to greatness.”

Dessert Masters has been renewed for 2024 ahead of its debut season with Melissa Leong returning with Amaury Guichon.

Melissa said: “Over the past four years, MasterChef Australia has infused my life with something truly magical. It has provided me with life-changing experiences that have given me the courage to continue to put myself outside of my comfort zone.

“It is with great enthusiasm and warmth that I welcome new faces Sofia, Poh, and Jean-Christophe, to this very special family, I know they will make it theirs in their own special way, as we did.

“The great honour of growing the MasterChef Australia family with the introduction of Dessert Masters is not lost on me. I relish the sweet opportunity to nurture this special series alongside Amaury.”

Amaury said: “I had an incredible time filming Dessert Masters in Australia, and I can’t wait for audiences to fall in love with this season and savour every moment the same way I did. It is a great honour for me to be able to return for season two alongside Melissa Leong to serve up a whole new set of sweet challenges!”

10 is due to announce their 2024 Upfronts tomorrow morning.

Updated: On social media Leong said, “It is with great warmth and enthusiasm that I wish this new lineup of judges and hosts all the best in making it theirs, and big love to @andyallencooks for leading the way’ she continued. 

“The changing of the guard is one I always planned to embrace, and I’m so glad to do that, on my terms, today. 

“On top of all that joy, I am excited to share with you (soon), some other projects I’ve been working on behind the scenes, so watch this space!

“My gratitude to our audience for all your support, can’t wait for you to see the new show. Love and respect always.”

23 Responses

  1. I am really keen to see Jean-Christophe Novelli in this role. Poh is a natural and has such good energy. Andy is warm and funny. Four judges might be too many, but we’ll see.

  2. I won’t be watching. Knowing that the new judges will have replaced Jock. And Melissa decided not to come back which is understandable. It was her decision not the producers to replace her. I’m shocked that the producers decided to go ahead with the show. It’s a huge insult to Jock and his family.

  3. It might just be me, but I never liked Melissa that much as a Masterchef judge. Poh really is Masterchef royalty, I can see the logic in that appointment.
    However, a panel of 4 judges – too many?

  4. I think the “Veteran Chef, Successful Alumni, Food Critic” structure for the panel provides a range of perspectives and personalities. However, Andy and Poh fill the same role, probably didn’t need 4 judges but I love them both! Hopefully it doesn’t drag out the judging time with repetitive comments from everyone, especially when you add guest judges into the mix.

  5. Andy acts like an excited child who, for me, doesn’t command the same respect as the other two, and is a huge reason I tuned out after the first season that this trio took over. Mel was great, Jock was great… I’m honestly baffled as to why they would keep Andy

  6. I don’t envy the impossible task to choose the new judging lineup but Poh is absolutely a perfect choice for countless reasons (and will bring some much needed joy from the pain that will remain from Jock’s passing). I will very much miss Melissa from the main show though coz she really was terrific.

  7. Surprised that Melissa is leaving Masterchef. But at least she’ll still be doing Dessert Masters.

    Good to have a food critic back as a judge with Sofia Levin (just like Matt Preston was in the original).

  8. I imagine having four gives them more flexibility to spread the load a bit.

    Alternatively, when all four are in the kitchen, they can pair up. It was weird when Andy and Jock would always be together and Mel by herself talking to the cooks.

  9. The obvious question is why 4? I can imagine the difficulty in decisions to return to the series after Jocks death, but why an overseas Chef, we have many talented Australian chefs .

Leave a Reply