MasterChef’s Melissa Leong on turning 40 and ‘ultimate' happiness

MasterChef judge Melissa Leong recently celebrated her 40th birthday, revealing why she chooses to march to the beat of her own drum.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph about societal pressure placed on women to find a partner, have children and settle down, the MasterChef judge knew exactly what she wanted to say to her younger self.

Melissa Leong sits in a yoga pose, wearing leggings and a stripy exercise top.
Melissa Leong has embraced turning 40. Photo: Instagram/fooderati

“Don’t worry about not reaching certain life goals at certain ages,” she began.

“You’re supposed to know what you want to do for the rest of your life at the end of high school, meet the person you will spend the rest of your life with in university, and then as women there’s the added pressure of when will you procreate."

Melissa Leong poses in a checkered high waist pant, black top, tan overcoat, black gloves. Her hair is slicked back and she is in a hallway.
Melissa Leong isn't afraid to challenge societal expectations. Photo: Instagram/fooderati


She explains that not everybody wants the same thing in life, and that the ‘ultimate happiness’ for some could be a life of freedom and travel.

“The thing is life never looks like the way you think it should and it certainly never feels the way you think it should, we’re all just making it up as we go along.”

A behind the scenes snap of Melissa Leong, she has gemstones on her face and wears a pink jacket. She has a pink and black headband.
She thinks the latest series of MasterChef is 'special'. Photo: Instagram/fooderati

The new season of MasterChef: Foodies vs Favourites starts on Monday night, and she’s extremely excited. While she was nervous for her first appearance on the television show, this will be her third year, noting that it feels ‘familiar’.

Gushing about her time on MasterChef, she sums it up nicely, “A lot of magic has been created and to know that – if you’re lucky – you’ll be part of something magical in that next year to come.”

A photo of Melissa Leong posing on the set of MasterChef, she is wearing a black and white striped dress, with red lipstick.
Melissa is excited to be back on screen as one of MasterChef's judges. Photo: Ten

She wants everybody to know that the food truly is the star of the show, not only the best that MasterChef has ever seen, but the best food that she’s ever tasted full stop.

On Instagram, she describes the new season as ‘special’ and the perfect mix of ‘nostalgia’ and ‘something brand new’.

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.

Or if you have a story idea, email us at