'Proud to be Australian': MasterChef judge applauds 'groundbreaking' moment

Sarah Carty
Features & Style Editor

MasterChef judge Melissa Leong has called this photo ‘groundbreaking’, and not just because of the epic fairytale-themed cooking all the contestants produced last night on the Channel 10 show. 

Posting an image of the five contestants fighting for immunity last night, the acclaimed food critic wrote on Instagram: “This image is groundbreaking.”

MasterChef judge Melissa Leong has called this image groundbreaking. Photo: Channel 10

The challenge saw Jess Liemantara, Khank Ong, Brendan Pang, Reynold Poernomo and Poh Ling Yeow , all from Asian backgrounds, whip up some of the most breathtaking dishes ever plated up in the reality show kitchen. 

“Not only did these tremendous humans create the five best dishes yesterday (we judge dishes, not people), but I could never conceive of witnessing a moment like this on prime time television in my lifetime. ⁣Thank you @channel10au,” Mel continued. 

“Diversity and representation does not come at the detriment of others, it is for the inclusivity of us all. ⁣⁣

“I am proud to be Australian. To be part of a nation whose identity is indigenous and multicultural, we are richer because of ancient and recent.⁣⁣

“To every person who never felt seen, this is for you, may it give you hope. To every person who is yet to feel seen, you are valued and your moment is on its way. We rise together.”

Reynold won immunity last night for his Alice in Wonderland themed dessert. Photo: Channel 10

Last night, Reynold won immunity after plating up an Alice In Wonderland themed dessert for the judges. 

The night before, fans were left in floods of tears after each of the MasterChef contestants relayed stories from their childhood, in a challenge where they had to cook something inspired by memories of their youth.

A usually stoic Reynold broke down as he revealed the picture of him sitting out the back of his parents’ kitchen brought back a plethora of emotions for him, with Melissa letting him know that it’s clear he got his strong work ethic from his family. 

Khanh burst into tears over a photo of his with his parents on the day they arrived in Australia. He went on to reveal he was born in a refugee camp and the photo showed the day they were approved to enter Australia.  

Even judge Jock Zonfrillo choked up as Reece Hignell served up his grandmother’s Victoria sponge cake, with the Scottish chef saying it brought back memories for him of his granny whipping up the desert for him when he was young. 

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