The real reason MasterChef judge Melissa Leong broke down in tears

Sarah Carty
Features & Style Editor

MasterChef fans were left in tears last night as Melissa Leong got emotional during the tastings of the final six’s dishes.

The much-loved reality show judge was visibly upset after taking a bite of Poh Ling Yeow’s Nyonya chicken curry, wiping away tears as she gushed over the Back To Win contestant’s dish.

Melissa Leong was brought to tears. Photo: Channel 10

“I’m actually crying with joy. That doesn’t happen very often but yeah,” Melissa could be heard saying. 

“I’m really proud to eat food like this. I think it’s absolutely spot on and that's what great food can do. That’s what we look for here.”

After Poh walked away, Melissa turned to Jock and said that the curry reminded her of her mum’s cooking, explaining that she really misses her mum right now.

“I really miss my mum and this is the food she cooks,” Melissa said through tears.

“Like the smell of that in the house on the weekend.”

The show was filmed during the coronavirus lockdown, with most of the judges and contestants unable to see their family members.

Last night, Poh took to her Instagram account to thank Mel for the praise.

“Wow, what a night, cooking my Nyonya chicken curry, nasi ulam (herbed coconut shrimp rice), fried fresh whitebait, red onion soy lime chilli relish, roti chanai. This is the magic of recipes, they take on a life of their own, shaped by the hands of every custodian they have passed through and even after eons of time travelling, the intent is still felt. Thank you @zonfrillo @andyallencooks and especially @fooderati for giving me a moment that felt bigger than me - the reason why cultural dishes just float my boat,” she wrote.

The MasterChef judge is so happy about the dish and she lets her emotions show. Photo: Channel 10

Melissa wrote back to her, writing: “These moments are bigger than any of us, and yet they are about that very humble thing, which is to be human, and made from people and places that carry meaning. Thank you for reminding me of that. I think it’s something we can all relate to, no matter where you come from, or what your story is.”

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