Some news has been slow cooking in the MasterChef Australia kitchen, and now it’s time to lift the cloche on what’s in store for 2024.
Next year, the world of MasterChef begins a new era with a selection of homegrown heroes and international superstars completing the family.
MasterChef Australia Season 16 will see Andy Allen carry on Jock Zonfrillo’s legacy alongside three new judges: MasterChef alumnus Poh Ling Yeow, food critic and journalist Sofia Levin, and multi–Michelin Star award-winning chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli.
As both a judge and former winner of MasterChef Australia, Andy Allen is the success story that exemplifies what the nation’s favourite cooking show is all about.
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.”
As the much-loved runner-up of MasterChef Australia’s debut season,Poh Ling Yeow has been part of the MasterChef family from the start.
Poh 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.”
A stalwart of the food reviewing scene for over a decade, Sofia Levin brings a keen critical eye to the kitchen. A driving force behind the #EatCuriously movement, Sofia encourages everyone to eat outside their comfort zone and embrace diverse cuisines and cultures.
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.”
Bringing the international star power is lauded French chef, author, and restaurateur, JeanChristophe Novelli. The 5/5 AA Rosette awarded, multi–Michelin Star winner owns one of the world’s top cookery schools and knows how to get the best out of aspiring chefs.
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.”
MasterChef Australia will continue to be a magnet for the world’s biggest culinary icons in 2024, welcoming an array of guest chefs from across the globe.
In some sweet news, Dessert Masters has already been confirmed for a second season ahead of its November debut. The icing on the cake? Confirmation that the series will again be helmed by iconic judge, Melissa Leong, and pastry prodigy, 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 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!”
Just like a good dish, the MasterChef Australia universe is only as strong as the ingredients that go into it; with a line-up like this, the franchise is on track for a perfect scorecard in 2024.