New Judges & A Huge Cash Prize: Everything You Need To Know About MasterChef Australia 2024

Whip out your aprons because Australia’s favourite reality TV cooking show is returning to our screens very soon. MasterChef Australia will return for its 16th season later this year, with a brand new judging panel and a bunch of eager new contestants ready to battle it out in the MasterChef kitchen. 
In July 2023, Brent Draper was named the winner of Season 15 of MasterChef Australia, taking home a grand prize of $250,000
Three months later, Channel Ten announced the beloved cooking show would be returning in 2024, after a bit of a shakeup. Melissa Leong, who joined the judging panel in 2020, has stepped away as co-host to focus on the new spin-off series, MasterChef: Dessert Masters, while Andy Allen is returning to the judging panel alongside new judges Poh Ling Yeow, Sofia Levin and Jean-Christophe Novelli.
Channel Ten is yet to announce whether the format of the show will be different this year but we should be getting more updates from the MasterChef kitchen shortly. 
Here is everything we know (so far) about the 2024 season of MasterChef Australia.

When Is The Air Date for MasterChef Australia 2024? 

The MasterChef Australia 2024 air date has finally been announced! It will be premiering much earlier this year on Monday, 22 April at 7:30pm on 10 and 10 Play.

Who Is In The Cast? 

The cast of the 2024 season of MasterChef Australia is yet to be announced, but given past seasons, we will see 22 home cooks battle it out in the MasterChef kitchen.
Stay tuned to find out what the 16th season of MasterChef Australia has in store for us. 

Who Are The Judges On MasterChef Australia 2024?

In October last year, Channel Ten announced that much-loved MasterChef Australia judge Melissa Leong would be stepping away from co-hosting the popular reality cooking show in 2024 to focus on hosting the new spin-off series, Masterchef: Dessert Masters. The first season of Dessert Masters, which Leong co-hosts with pastry prodigy Amaury Guichon, aired in November last year and the series has already been renewed for a second season in 2024. 
“Over the past four years, MasterChef Australia has infused my life with something truly magical. It has provided me with life-changing experiences that have given me the courage to continue to put myself outside of my comfort zone," Leong said in a statement released by Channel Ten in October. 
“The great honour of growing the MasterChef Australia family with the introduction of Dessert Masters is not lost on me. I relish the sweet opportunity to nurture this special series alongside Amaury."
At the time, Channel Ten also announced the new line-up of judges for the 2024 season of MasterChef Australia
MasterChef Australia Season 4 winner Andy Allen will return to co-host the series, along with new co-hosts including MasterChef alumnus Poh Ling Yeow, food critic and journalist Sofia Levin, and multi–Michelin Star award-winning chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli. 

Andy Allen

Allen, who was the winner of the 2009 season, first joined the show as a co-host along with Leong and Jock Zonfrillo in 2020. The trio replaced long-standing judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston, who departed the show after the 2019 season. 
In October 2023, Allen said that after a difficult year, the decision to return to the MasterChef kitchen was not one he took lightly but he was excited about the next chapter of his MasterChef journey.  
“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," he said. "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."

Poh Ling Yeow 

Yeow, who was the runner-up to Julie Goodwin in Season 1, is already a long-standing member of the MasterChef family having appeared as a guest judge and mentor on the series over its 15-year run. She also competed in MasterChef Australia: Back To Win in 2020, which saw previous winners and contestants return to battle it out in the MasterChef kitchen. 
“Talk about a thrilling, full circle moment. MasterChef Australia is where my food story began, so this feels like coming home. 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," she said in a media release in October. 

Jean-Christophe Novelli

Jean-Christophe Novelli is a French celebrity chef who has been awarded a 5/5 AA Rosette and multiple Michelin Stars. He also owns one of the world’s top cooking schools. 
“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. 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,” Novelli said in a statement. 

Sofia Levin

Melbourne-based food critic and journalist Sofia Levin has been writing about food since 2013 for a range of publications including Delicious, Broadsheet, Good Food, Lonely Planet, The Guardian, The Age and National Geographic. She’s also appeared on TV shows such as The Cook Up with Adam Liaw and Postcards
In 2021, Levin launched The Seasoned Traveller, a website and newsletter that encourages readers to ‘eat curiously’ and celebrates cultural diversity through food. 
“The first season of Masterchef Australia aired the same year I started writing about food,” she said in a statement last October. “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’m giddy with excitement at the people I get to stand beside.”

Who Are The Guest Judges on MasterChef Australia 2024? 

Jamie Oliver 

Last year, Channel Ten confirmed UK celebrity chef Jamie Oliver would be joining the 2024 season of MasterChef Australia as a guest judge. 
He will join the judging panel for a two-week stint during the upcoming season. 
“Returning to the MasterChef kitchen and spending time in Australia makes me very happy. I think MasterChef Australia is the best food show in the world — amazing production values and an incredible story of transformation,” he said in a statement last year. 
“I love seeing how the contestants constantly surprise themselves about what they can achieve. More than that, MasterChef connects Aussies to food and the joy of cooking and that can only be a positive thing.”

Where Is MasterChef Australia 2024 Filmed?

MasterChef Australia is filmed at Centenary Hall in the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds.
As the Sydney Morning Herald reported in 2013, the purpose-built studio is soundproof and air conditioned and includes a fully functioning commercial kitchen, butcher’s shop, herb garden, locker room, wine reception area, 120-seat restaurant and pantry.
The contestants also sometimes travel to other locations around Australia to film on-location episodes. 

What Is The Prize For MasterChef Australia 2024? 

The winner of MasterChef Australia usually takes home $250,000. In 2023, winner Brent Draper took home the $250,000 prize money, which he planned to use to set his family up for the future. 
"Look, it's a massive amount of money and it's going to set the little family up big time," Draper told Refinery29 Australia at the time. "Obviously I've gotta give myself a little present, so I'm gonna get a little boat for myself.” 
Remember to keep checking back here as we continue updating the behind-the-scenes details about the 2024 season of MasterChef Australia. 
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