Few in Australia can boast the culinary credentials of Melissa Leong.
An accomplished food and travel writer, food media consultant, radio broadcaster, television presenter, MC and cookbook editor, this first-generation Singaporean Australian isn't afraid to eat anything at least once.
Living proof that not being sure what you want to be when you grow up can make for a life less boring, Melissa’s instinct is always to say yes to the unexpected. Her professional background has spanned advertising, food media consulting, PR, journalism and cookbook publishing, working with big-name culinary personalities, including Marco Pierre White, Adriano Zumbo, Colin Fassnidge and Dan Hong. From travelling solo to far-flung places in the world to living on an abattoir in rural Tasmania to understand better the trials and tribulations of the primary food industry, she has written her own rule book.
Melissa began her television career with Netflix’s The Chef’s Line in 2016. Her culinary prowess and star power were recognised and she landed the coveted role as Host and Judge on MasterChef Australia, Celebrity MasterChef and MasterChef Junior in 2020. As the first-ever female judge, Melissa quickly became a fan favourite known for her charm, wit and eloquence. She was nominated for the prestigious Gold Logie in 2022 for the Most Popular Personality On Australian Television.
In addition to continuing with MasterChef, as part of Channel 10’s 2022 pilot showcase, Melissa hosted a new show called Dinner Guest alongside Narelda Jacobs and Susan Carland - a female-led talk show that strives to give diverse women a voice by sharing their own experiences as women of colour.
Prior to her television success, Melissa’s first love was writing. As a freelance food writer and critic, she has shared her love and knowledge of all things edible with publications such as Delicious, Stellar, and Escape. She has also penned her own Children’s Book, A Taste Adventure (Five Mile Publishing) released in September 2022, as she wanted to share her passion for different tastes and flavours with a young generation of up and coming foodies.
Never one to shy away from a new opportunity and a self-proclaimed “podcast obsessive, " Melissa has also hosted her own Spotify Content Series, More than Talk, where she interviewed some of Australia’s most brilliant and inspiring personalities about their favourite podcasts and listening habits.
Melissa is also a sought-after brand ambassador, infusing her extensive following with her delicious food experiences, unique style and artistic photography. She is currently an ambassador for Lancome and Lexus and is a proud supporter of The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and The Lost Dogs Home.