'It's A Great Privilege': Melissa Leong Is Loving Her Time As A MasterChef Judge
Though MasterChef: Back To Win has only been running for a few weeks, fans have already gotten behind the three new judges, especially Melissa Leong and her poetic descriptions of the food on the show.
Appearing via video chat on Studio 10, Melissa gave an update on what the experience has been like so far, saying it's a "great privilege" to be able to sample the incredible dishes the returning chefs have been plating up.
"It's about stories for me," she said, "the people that are cooking the food put all of their love and their energy and their collected memories into what they're doing."
One of the most difficult parts of watching MasterChef as an audience member is seeing the delectable and outrageously drool-worthy dishes the chefs are plating up.
"It's my job to be able to transport [the audience] in some way and give them a fairly accurate idea, as best of an idea as I can, of what's going on for us and why things are the way that they are," Melissa said.
Not only has Melissa become an instant fan favourite with her joyous, lyrical descriptions of the foods she's experiencing but she's already made strong connections with many of the returning contestants, as well as having way too much fun alongside fellow judges Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo.
While the judges are there to evaluate the dishes and often have the hard task of sending chefs home during eliminations, Melissa has also proven that they're there to bring out the best in all of them.
Bonding over yum cha with Sarah Tiong, or learning to make wontons with Brendan Pang, Melissa has found a way to connect with many of the chefs to make them feel like what they're bringing to the table is more than just a plate of food.
On Wednesday night's Mystery Box challenge Dani Venn had one of those nightmarish days where it just felt like nothing was going right, and Melissa stepped in.
Despite bringing such a fresh perspective and vibrant energy to the kitchen, Melissa told the Studio 10 hosts she "never thought for a second" she would be considered as part of the new judging lineup.
"It was a wonderful surprise when I was called and I'm really taking to it quite well," Melissa said. "I'm loving being on set every day and working with this incredible crew and of course my beautiful other judges Andy and Jock are so much fun.
"We have a criminal amount of fun on set."