MasterChef season 13: Everything you need to know about the judges

masterchef judges

• Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong, and Andy Allen entered the kitchen last season

Returning for its 13th season on Monday, April 19th at 7:30pm on 10, MasterChef Australia is heading back to the kitchen. Overseeing the MasterChef contestants are judges Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong, and Andy Allen who entered the kitchen last season. Ready to encourage and push contestants to extend their repertoire, the trio are back to mentor the next batch of hopefuls.

See More: MasterChef Australia season 13: Everything you need to know
See More: MasterChef judges on the format going back to its roots for season 13

Jock Zonfrillo

Born in Glasgow to an Italian father and Scottish mother, Jock Zonfrillo’s formative years were heavily influenced by his respective cultures.

Attracted to the dynamic and competitive kitchens of London, he worked alongside Marco Pierre White at his restaurant, before moving to Kent and working with David Cavalier at Michelin starred Chapter One.

After that, Jock moved halfway around the world and spent a year at Sydney’s Restaurant 41. Following the brief sabbatical, he returned to the UK to work at Gordon Ramsay’s Three Star Michelin restaurant, The Aubergine, before returning to Marco Pierre White’s kitchens at Les Saveurs and then joining The Pharmacy by artist Damien Hirst. He then worked as head chef at the boutique hotel The Tresanton on the Cornish coast, his last position in the UK before returning to Australia in 2000 as head chef of Restaurant 41.

Jock then moved to Adelaide before opening Bistro Blackwood and Restaurant Orana. Orana was awarded Restaurant of the Year by Gourmet Traveller Magazine in 2018, named Restaurant of the Year by the Good Food Guide in 2019 and awarded Three Hats in both the 2019 and 2020 guide.

Jock has hosted Nomad Chef, leading an insight into the cultures and cuisine of some of the most remote communities on earth; hosted cooking show Restaurant Revolution in 2015; the 2016 series Chef Exchange, which explored food cultures and customs alongside Shandong Chef Qu Jianmin; and appeared as a guest chef across three seasons, before cementing his role as one of the judges in MasterChef Australia and Junior MasterChef Australia alongside Melissa Leong and Andy Allen in 2020.

A father of four, Jock also runs a not-for-profit called The Orana Foundation which he founded in 2016. The Foundation’s mission is to shine a light on Australia’s Indigenous food, bringing native ingredients to the world, whilst celebrating Indigenous culture and supporting Indigenous communities.

Jock has also been awarded the Basque Culinary World Prize in July 2018.

He is currently writing his biography due for release in August 2021. 

masterchef judges

Melissa Leong

Few in Australia can boast the culinary credentials of Melissa Leong – an accomplished food and travel writer, food media consultant, radio broadcaster, television presenter, MC, and cookbook editor.

Born and raised in Sydney to Singaporean-Chinese parents, Melissa attended Sydney University, graduating with a degree in Economics and Social Sciences.  

It doesn’t matter if she is getting lost in the back streets of Ho Chi Minh in search of the perfect banh mi, or living on an abattoir in rural Tasmania for two years to better understand agriculture and primary industry first hand, there is nowhere and nothing Melissa won’t be or do.

A background in digital advertising working with big name brands gave Melissa her start in the food industry as a freelance food critic for publications including Time Out Sydney, before she moved into PR, marketing and digital media consulting.

Cast as co-host and judge on the series The Chefs’ Line, the show’s two seasons continue to broadcast worldwide. A season regular on MasterChef Australia alumni Justine Schofield’s Everyday Gourmet and on Matt Sinclair’s The Cook’s Pantry on 10, Melissa can also be found hosting events at food festivals around the country, including Margaret River Gourmet Escape and Noosa Food & Wine Festival.

As a freelance food writer, Melissa specialises in cookbooks, recipe editing, and chef wrangling. She co-edited and produced The Great Australian Cookbook, had a hand in bringing to life books for chef Colin Fassnidge and co-wrote Dan Hong’s Mr Hong.

Melissa has recently been given her own column in Escape and continues to write for delicious Magazine, The Guardian and

In 2020, Melissa became one of the judges on MasterChef Australia and Junior MasterChef Australia alongside Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo.

masterchef judges

Andy Allen

Andy Allen is MasterChef Australia alumni and the show’s season four winner,

Before entering the competition as a MasterChef Australia contestant in 2012, Andy was an electrician, but would relish taking time after work to cook for whoever was home and hungry. On most weekends you could find him hosting a BBQ or lunch for mates, and it was a dare from one of those friends to apply for MasterChef Australia, which made him take the plunge.

Throughout his time on the show he read, researched, watched, listened and saw every moment as an opportunity to learn and hone his skills. After eight months he was crowned winner of MasterChef Australia (the youngest winner at the time) and wanted to continue to learn as much as he could.

It took being immersed in the MasterChef kitchen for Andy to realise how much he truly loved food. After winning the competition, he took stock of where he wanted to go with his new career, and decided to push himself even further.

Since then, he’s continued throwing himself headfirst into a variety of challenges – authoring his first cookbook, The Next Element and at the same time working part time as a cook at the Sydney café Three Blue Ducks.

In 2016, he and Three Blue Ducks opened a new venture in Rosebery together. Andy took on the head chef role, and went on to become a co-owner of the entire restaurant group. In 2018, the Three Blue Ducks’ Rosebery restaurant was awarded an Australian Good Food Guide chef’s hat, making Andy (as its head chef) the first MasterChef Australia contestant to be awarded the honour. Andy and the Ducks have since opened restaurants in Byron Bay, Brisbane and Melbourne.

Andy has also presented television shows with fellow MasterChef Australia alumni Ben Milbourne, including Andy And Ben Eat Australia, and Andy And Ben Eat The World, and co-hosted Farm To Fork and more recently, Three Blue Ducks for Network 10.

In 2020, Andy became one of the judges on MasterChef Australia and Junior MasterChef Australia alongside Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo.

masterchef judges

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