MasterChef winner's surprise pick for new judges' line-up

Holly Hales
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Larissa has a few surprise picks for who will replace the MasterChef judges. Photo: Network 10

It’s been an unprecedentedly dramatic 24 hours for MasterChef Australia, with news of the three judges’ departure breaking just before an action-packed finale.

But while the franchise’s executives scramble to find all-star replacements, Tuesday night’s winner, Larissa Takchi, has an unusual pick for who should be its next star.

“If it was based on my food idols I would go for Yotam Ottolenghi or Maggie Beer,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Hot take

While Aussie cooking icon Maggie, is among bookies’ favourites to join the line-up - despite her not being all that keen, Yotam is yet to be mentioned in the mix.

Despite this, the Israeli-born chef has appeared as a celebrity guest on the series several times and would add an international flavour to the Down Under version of the series.

But regardless of which experts are at the helm, Larissa is sure the decade-long program will remain a reality TV mainstay.

“With MasterChef, it will always be about food, it will never be about just the drama,” she says.

“Contestants will still have an amazing experience and I’m excited about who the new judges will be.”

Yotam Ottolenghi has been a celebrity guest on Masterchef several times already. Photo: Network 10

“Poh would also be awesome [as a new judge], having an ex-contestant who has experience and can be empathetic sounds like a good idea but who knows I guess.”

Exciting engagement

Just weeks after taking home the the series’ latest crown, Larissa had even more to celebrate when her partner of six years Luke popped the question.

“He was planning on doing it for a while but I had no idea what was actually happening or on what day,” she reveals.

“I made a reservation at Quay, Peter Gilmore’s restaurant in Sydney, for dinner but when he picked me up, blindfolded me, and drove me to his house and he escorted me to the front of his porch.

“He told me to take the blindfold off and because it was dark, I couldn’t really see anything and all of a sudden I turned around and got down on one knee and he popped the question and I said yes.”

Although the happy couple are yet to solidify their wedding plans, Larissa has other - food-based - plans she can’t wait to fulfil.

“I have a big food dream that’s very ambitious, it will take a lot of money and luckily I kind of have that I want to build a farm and restaurant where I give guests the ultimate farm to table dining experience,” she says.

“I don’t want it to be just about food, I want it to be a whole experience.”

Got a story tip or just want to get in touch? Email us at

Want more lifestyle and celebrity news? Follow Yahoo Lifestyle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Or sign up to our daily newsletter here.