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Melissa Leong's Two Words Of Advice For Future MasterChef Applicants

If you're looking for a sign that you should apply for the next season of MasterChef Australia, this is it.

After Billie McKay made history, becoming the first-ever to win MasterChef Australia twice, the standard has never been higher for foodies across the country.

And if you've been unsure if you should submit an application, MasterChef judge Melissa Leong has two words for you: "Do it."

"Just do it," she continued, "fill out the application if you have ever wondered about what it might be like. Why wonder if you could?"

Speaking to 10 play, Melissa added how easy it is to sit at home watching contestants and think you could match their skills - if not better them. "Show us if you can! If you can do better than that, we'd love to see it.

"But also, MasterChef has always been an incredible example of diversity in Australia for so many people. Whether or not it's sexuality, whether or not it's culture, it's always been a very welcoming place.

"In order to show who Australia truly is, you need to be part of that conversation so, please, join us."

READ MORE: Apply Now For MasterChef 2023

Having just wrapped Fans & Faves, Melissa looked back at what she said was "a really wonderful season".

"People always ask, 'this has been going for so long, how can each season possibly be different?' but it can [be] because the people are different, the stories are different, the energy is different."

Since stepping into the role of judge alongside Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa has watched on as favourites returned to the kitchen in Back To Win, they saw a crew of celebrities compete, a whole new crop of chefs in Season 13 and even supported a cast of extremely talented kids during Junior MasterChef.

Each season felt so markedly different for the judges, but the mixing of Fans and Faves in Season 14 brought in a whole new dynamic they never saw coming.

READ MORE: 'We Need People To Say We Want This And We Want It Now': Melissa Leong's Ready For More Dinner Guests

"The fans just had this unbridled enthusiasm for the freshness and the newness of it all, and they gave the favourites the kick in the pants they've been missing," she revealed. Meanwhile, many of the Faves were able to show the Fans the ropes, taking on the role of mentor for some of the new faces in the kitchen.

While the chefs are bonding through the many challenges and trials they have to navigate across the season, the judges are also getting to know the contestants through the food they're serving up and the stories they share about what certain dishes mean to them.

"It's our great pleasure to learn about people's stories and to be able to learn about their culture and families and anything they want to share with us through their food," Melissa said.

"They express themselves through their food... it is hard because you develop a connection with people, but you're also judging the food on the plate, and that's connected to a certain prize."

While the judges are bonding with the chefs over their shared connection to food and their investment in their growth, Melissa said once the plate of food is put in front of them, all personal feelings go out the window.

"At the end of the day, it says it right there on the job title, we're judges. We can only judge the food on the plate, so we have to cast aside the rest of the context at that moment and judge the critical moment," she explained.

While the judges have seen criticism that they will critique a plate of food because they don't like the chef, Melissa laughed and said, "Firstly there are no awful people on the show ever".

"But we take that job really seriously, each one of us comes from a different perspective on the food industry and, however we get there, we know what good food is.

"We know what a fault in a dish is and, yes sometimes we might argue robustly about what weighs more, but at the end of the day usually we can agree pretty quickly on what makes a great dish, or what makes a dish send someone home."

Think you have what it takes to wow the judges and tackle the challenges that the MasterChef kitchen has to offer? Applications for the next season are now open! Click here for more info.

Catch up on full seasons of MasterChef Australia on 10 play on demand