The Ultimate Taste Testers: ‘MasterChef Australia’ Welcomes Its 2024 Judges

The 2024 MasterChef Australia judges

Despite what you might think, being a judge on MasterChef Australia is no picnic. You have to eat multiple meals in a row, know how to aptly describe flavours, and possess a refined pallet. Chefs and critics who are suited for this task are few and far between.

However, in 2024, three new judges are jumping into this MasterChef Australia challenge. They’ll be filling the spots left by Jock Zonfrillo, who passed away last year, and Melissa Leong, who’s stepping away from MasterChef Australia to focus on the second season of MasterChef: Dessert Masters.

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

With Melissa moving on from MasterChef Australia, Andy Allen will be the only MasterChef Australia judge returning for the 2024 season. Here’s everything we know about the critics and chefs who’ll be joining him.

MasterChef Australia: The 2024 Judges

Poh Ling Yeow


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Poh Ling Yeow is a MasterChef Australia icon. She competed on Season 1 of MasterChef Australia, and came in second place, behind winner Julie Goodwin. Since then, she has been a guest star on numerous episodes, even returned to compete on Season 12.

Beyond MasterChef Australia, Poh has co-hosted the Australian version of Snackmasters and appeared on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! Last year, she acted as a cooking judge in a Thank God You’re Here sketch. 

However, Poh is very excited to be back in the MasterChef Australia kitchen. She can’t wait to taste what this year has to offer.

“Talk about a thrilling, full-circle moment. MasterChef Australia is where my food story began, so this feels like coming home,” Poh said. “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.”

If you want to follow Poh Ling Yeow on Instagram, click the link here.

Sofia Levin


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Sofia Levin is one of Australia’s most beloved food critics and journalists. She is best known for founding the website Seasoned Traveller and the #EatCuriously movement. When Sofia isn’t on her culinary adventures, she’s writing about them for SBS Food, The Guardian, and many other respected publications.

Like most of us, Sofia is a huge fan of MasterChef Australia, so joining series is a huge win.

“The first season of MasterChef Australia aired the same year I started writing about food,” Sofia said. “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.”

If you want to follow Sofia Levin on Instagram, click the link here.

Jean-Christophe Novelli

French chef, author, and restaurateur, Jean-Christophe Novelli has done it all. With decades worth of experience in the kitchen, this man has achieved his ambition of winning multiple Michelin Stars.

When Jean-Christophe isn’t cooking up incredible dishes, he’s training young chefs. He’s passionate about helping people improve, so he can’t wait to assist this year’s contestants.

“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,” Jean-Christophe said. “Australian cuisine has a remarkable reputation, and it will be a great privilege to meet and mentor the country’s top home cooks on their journeys to greatness.”

If you want to follow Jean-Christophe Novelli on Instagram, click the link here.

Andy Allen


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Last but not least we have Andy Allen. Andy has been a MasterChef Australia judge since 2020. He was a member of this show’s rebooted lineup, alongside Jock Zonfrillo and Melissa Leong.

However, 2020 wasn’t the first year that Andy starred on a season of MasterChef Australia. Back in 2012, he won Season 4 of this series. He was also a guest judge on Season 6.

Now, Andy is excited to return for the 2024 season, and to work alongside the show’s new judges.

MasterChef Australia has been part of my life for over a decade,” Andy said.  “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.”

If you want to follow Andy Allen on Instagram, click the link here.

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

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