From Michelin Stars to ‘MasterChef’: Inside Jean-Christophe Novelli’s Culinary Journey

The MasterChef Australia judge Jean-Christophe Novelli

MasterChef Australia is a series that’s constantly evolving, with new challenges, new locations, and new, unique themes introduced every year. This ethos will be ever-present in MasterChef Australia’s 2024 season. Not only is this season travelling to Hong Kong for three episodes, it’s also introducing three new judges. 

In 2023, MasterChef Australia was hit by tragedy when fan-favourite judge Jock Zonfrillo unexpectedly passed away at the age of 46. After this hardship took place, Melissa Leong announced that she was stepping away from MasterChef Australia to focus on Season 2 of MasterChef: Dessert Masters.

This year, Andy Allen will be the only returning judge. He’ll be joined by MasterChef Australia newcomers and alumni Jean-Christophe Novelli, Sofia Levin, and Poh Ling Yeow. Jean-Christophe — a chef who’s famous for his skills across France — is the biggest name to be joining the MasterChef Australia family.

In a press statement, Jean-Christophe spoke of the immense honour it was to be joining the MasterChef Australia judging panel.

“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,” he said. “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.”

However, while Jean-Christophe is a big deal in France, some Aussies don’t know who he is. Here’s everything we know about this chef.

Who Is MasterChef Australia’s Jean-Christophe Novelli?

Jean-Christophe Novelli has had an illustrious career across Europe. Over and over again, he has proved himself to be the master of French cuisine, winning multiple 5/5 AA Rosettes and four Michelin stars.

Since becoming a famous chef, Jean-Christophe has appeared on numerous cooking shows. In 2005, he guest starred on an episode of Hell’s Kitchen. In 2009, he hosted his own show Chef Academy. On Chef Academy, Jean-Christophe trained nine aspiring chefs into professionals. 

When Jean-Christophe isn’t on the TV, he’s continuing to refine his culinary crafts. Since 2005, Jean-Christophe has run his own chef’s academy, the Novelli Academy Cookery School. Situated in Hertfordshire, England, Jean-Christophe uses this school to teach people about French cuisine.

MasterChef Australia 2024 will premiere at 7.30pm on Monday, April 22, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand. Miss this episode? Catch up on 10 Play.

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