These a just a handful of the things we have come to adore about Mel.
But there’s so much more to her than meets the eye, and here are the other reasons why we heart her!
She’s The First Female Judge
It’s about time women were represented in the trio of MasterChef Australia judges and honestly, we cannot have picked anyone more perfect for the role.
Mel is compassionate, funny and articulate with her food descriptions. She paints the flavours so clearly in our heads, that we too feel like we’re experiencing the delicious taste of each dish with her! She gives great feedback to the contestants, so that they can continue to learn and grow as chefs and cooks.
Not to mention, she is so down to earth. Remember in episode 16 when she halted filming at a restaurant to answer a ringing phone, took the reservation and then continued with the show like nothing ever happened? LOL. What a boss!
Okay, we admit it. After watching the first few episodes of MasterChef Australia and seeing how STUNNING she is, we spent our days tirelessly shopping online for every. Single. Outfit.
It was a tough job, but now we know the details of every dress, accessory and shoe she wears on the show. And yes, we added them into her style look book, which you can find right here! Don’t let our hard work go to waste and have a peek. Thank us later.
Melissa Leong @fooderati - 🤣 Can you just come and style me every day using your gorgeous wardrobe and amazing earring collection please?! I wait every night to see what outfit you're rocking! #MasterchefAU— Laura (@LauraJane130) May 17, 2020
She’s A Successful Businesswoman
You name it, Mel’s probably done it. She had quite the career before landing her judging role on MasterChef Australia – she was a freelance food and travel writer, a TV presenter, food media consultant, a radio broadcaster, cookbook editor, and the list goes on! She’s also been on Everyday Gourmet, The Cooks Pantry and judged The Chefs Line.
Oh, and fun fact: Did you know Mel got her hands dirty and lived in an abattoir and sheep dairy in rural Tasmania for TWO years so she could better understand agriculture first-hand? WOWZA! How does she ever have time to sleep?!
She Promotes Diversity
Mel represents diversity at its core in MasterChef Australia. In the first Mystery Box Challenge, she showcased a bunch of ingredients which represent her heritage as a Singaporean Chinese.
The ingredients, such as the memorable chicken feet, may have scared off some, but for others it’s a nod to their Asian culture which isn’t always represented on TV.
She also had a cute AF moment with Brendan when they reminisced about their experiences learning how to make wontons with their families. So heart-warming!
Can we go back a second and just talk about Brendan saying how lovely it was that Melissa understood the importance of his wonton dish because she’s from an Asian background too 🥺THIS is why representation and diversity is so important #MasterchefAU
— Isha Bassi (@Isha_Bassi) April 22, 2020
She’s Open About Her Struggles
Mel has been very open about her lifelong struggles with depression and anxiety. She also manages an auto-immune condition which, in past periods of stress, resulted in chronic insomnia and hair loss. It’s a reminder that despite being the boss babe she is, everyone has their own battles they may be fighting and trying to overcome.