MasterChef's Poh Ling Yeow gets candid about divorce and turning 50

The celebrity chef said it took years for her to learn to like herself.

New MasterChef judge Poh Ling Yeow, 50, has given a candid new interview about how she managed to stay on good terms with her ex-husbands, admitting she no longer sees marriage as a "necessary" thing in her life.

Poh was married to Matt Phipps for 10 years from 1989 to 1999, and then Jonathan Bennett from 2009 to 2021, and opened up to Stellar magazine about what she learned from the marriages and post-divorce.

“We kept all the good bits and threw away all the bad bits,” Poh explained. “There’s something about having gone through the ugliest of things with someone … If you are willing to do some emotional excavating, it can be repaired to again be unbreakable.”

Poh Ling Yeow on MasterChef
Poh started her career on MasterChef and is now returning as a judge. Photo: Network 10

Poh went on to say that she's "very unsure about cohabitating" again and said it's important to maintain a sense of individuality and that there are other models of relationships to explore.


“I think it’s very sensible to maintain a sense of individuality because so much of what is toxic about relationships is that merging, [which is] often what we think is the right thing to do. We’re now in 2024; I feel like we can explore other models.”

Poh also said she loved turning 50, saying it took her years to actually like herself.

MasterChef star Poh Ling Yeow.
MasterChef star Poh Ling Yeow now and back in her 20s. Photo:


“I love being 50 because it’s taken me this long to actually like myself," she said.

“It’s tedious to confess, but a classic scourge of being a woman. I think it’s how people become more eccentric as they get older. You have to care less because there is no time to waste obsessing over silly things.”

Poh is set to star as a new judge on the 2024 season of MasterChef, saying the move feels like being at "home" after she first appeared on the show as a contestant in Season 1, finishing as runner-up in 2009.

After the trailer for this year's MasterChef was shared, Poh said being back in the kitchen made her emotional.

"Being in this kitchen will never cease to make me emotional. I do feel like I'm home. Thank u @masterchefau for this incredible life-changing adventure that never seems to end," she said on Instagram.

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