Credit: The Design Files

Breaking Bread with: Melissa Leong

25 March 2021

Enviably talented writer, TV presenter and all-round top-notch human Mel Leong is making use of her recently elevated platform as a MasterChef judge for good.

From educating eager cooks on how to reduce food waste at home, to encouraging Australians to become better informed about the diversity of foods on our doorsteps (and how to correctly pronounce these dishes!), Mel is on a delicious mission. Find out what Mel eats after a day spent judging MasterChef contestant’s dishes, and which cooks inspire her most. 

Your go-to snack:

Mortadella and hot sauce.

Your ultimate comfort dish(es):

Hainanese chicken rice, a huge bowl of pasta with pork-shoulder ragu, or a really great cheeseburger with bacon.

Your least favourite food-related word:

Unctuous. It actually means ‘greasy and ointment-like’, and not the rich, creamy texture people think it means.

Your favourite food-related word:

Autumnal, according to Jock Zonfrillo.

The cook(s) who inspires you most:

Ones who cook fearlessly with soul, as well as capability. Yotam Ottolenghi, Alice Waters and Kylie Kwong, for instance.

Something you’ll never eat:

My email signature literally says ‘Melissa Leong will eat anything once’. Does that answer it?

What’s for dinner tonight?

A series of delicious snacks, including carrot crackers with cream cheese and golden trout roe, cheese quesadilla, some pumpkin miso soup I made on the weekend… and a goodly glass of Pinot. It was a huge day of eating and judging at work, so it’s a little lighter on when I get home.

Image credit: The Design Files