02/12/2020 3:48 PM AEDT | Updated 03/03/2021 12:08 PM AEDT

What We Know About The MasterChef Australia 2021 Contestants

Judges Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo have lifted the lid on what the new cast is like.

With audience favourites from past seasons returning for a second chance at winning in 2020, ‘MasterChef Australia: Back To Win’ was a ratings winner during the coronavirus lockdown. 

Next year, ‘MasterChef’ will return to home cooks new to the fame game, with one of the show’s judges promising the dishes will be even better than those served during the all-star season.

“I think it’s going to be the best food. Even with ‘Back to Win’,” judge Andy Allen told Who magazine at the AACTA Awards.  

Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for AFI
'MasterChef Australia' judges Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen have started filming the 2021 season. The trio pictured here at the 2020 AACTA Awards in Sydney on November 30. 

Filming of the Channel 10 show’s 2021 season recently commenced in Melbourne, and Andy said that in the “very short” time they’ve worked with the contestants, the high standard hasn’t gone unnoticed. 

“They’re raw, they’re very passionate, they’re very willing to learn, and I think that’s what I think excites us the most. It’s going to be a really good season,” he said. 

In an interview with TV Tonight, Andy again praised the cast, saying it was rewarding to watch these “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” people develop “their style” of cooking that the ‘Back to Win’ stars had already established. 

Fellow judge Melissa Leong agreed, saying that “there’s some tremendous talent, and it sets us up for a brilliant year”. 

This year’s season of ‘MasterChef’ was just as much about the contestants’ touching life stories as it was about the food, and remaining judge Jock Zonfrillo hinted there’ll be more nostalgia and heartfelt moments for audiences to connect with. 

“All I’m going to say is, I thought we had some beautiful humans last year. But 2021 is unbelievable,” he said.

Emelia Jackson won ‘MasterChef Australia: Back to Win’ this year, with Laura Sharrad finishing second and Reynold Poernomo third. 

The all-star season was followed by ‘Junior MasterChef Australia’, where 11-year-old Georgia took the winning title. 

Both cooking shows are scheduled to return to Channel 10 in 2021.  

Photo gallery 2020 AACTA Awards See Gallery

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