As MasterChef kicks up a notch, welcoming back a few lucky eliminated contestants, away from the show judge Melissa Leong also recently decided to mix things up a bit.
The food critic took to social media recently to show off a dramatic hair transformation, sparking somewhat of a frenzy among her followers, and admits she was surprised with the reaction it got.
"It was hilarious," she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
"Never in my life would I have imagined that there’d be articles written about my haircut. It’s a lot of fun, playing with a new look, and I am very flattered that people like it as much as I do."
"Snip, snip, bang bang," she captioned the post last week, receiving hundreds of comments from fans.
"Omg Love this!!" one said.
"It really suits you Mel," was another reaction.
Melissa 'having a blast' on MasterChef
Melissa says she's been "having a blast" on this season of MasterChef, particularly with the contestants. She was so moved by one dish on Thursday night's episode that she actually struggled to speak through tears.
"They’re bright, full of heart and take on challenges with all of themselves – what’s not to respect and admire about that kind of nous?" she tells us, adding there are a few she can see making it in the outside world.
"I definitely see a handful of them making a career of it, if they stick to their guns and keep on learning."
Melissa helping Aussies learn more about food
Melissa's love for food is clear in the way she shows enthusiasm over contestants' dishes in the kitchen, and often her reactions to the taste testing.
When it comes to having to eat a lot as part of her job, one food myth Melissa doesn't buy into is 'guilt foods'.
"Don’t buy into the ‘guilty foods’ thing. Food is food. Indulge if you want to indulge, find balance where you want to do that, too," she tells us.
"If you want to eat cake for breakfast, then do it. Just maybe find balance in other parts of your day, if that’s your goal."
It comes as new research commissioned by Australian Pears reveals over 81 per cent of Australians have experienced poor gut health issues in the last six months. It also showed that while 3 in 4 Aussies are concerned about their gut health, only half know what fibrous foods, such as fruit, support better digestive wellbeing.
"It is not at all surprising to hear that we don’t know as much as we should about what foods that are good for our gut, but that means there is a huge opportunity to learn," Melissa says.
"Gut health is crucial to feeling good and our energy and outlook in general."
Celebrity MasterChef announced
Melissa remained tight lipped on any details when it came to the announcement of a new season of Celebrity MasterChef.
But she did say it would be a "little less serious".
"Short seasons like Junior and Celebrity are designed to be fun and a little less serious than a regular season," she hinted. "It’s a wonderful opportunity to let loose a little more, and just play in that magical kitchen space."
She has also enjoyed having some MasterChef favourites – and Back to Win series contestants – like Poh Ling Yeow, Reynold Poernomo and Callum Hann on the show.
"[It was] so much fun. It is always a privilege and a pleasure to have old favourites return and give cause for inspiration and aspiration when it comes to the new contestants," she tells us.
"Each brings with them such a special take on the MasterChef experience."
MasterChef continues on Channel Ten
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