ENTERTAINMENT
23/12/2020 1:45 PM AEDT | Updated 04/01/2021 4:40 PM AEDT

MasterChef Australia Stars' Personal Heartbreak And Joy At End Of 2020

There are highs and lows outside of the kitchen for Emelia Jackson, Melissa Leong, Reynold Poernomo and more.

It’s been a year like no other for the cast of ‘MasterChef Australia’

Contestants returned to the show during COVID-19 for an all-star season called ‘MasterChef Australia: Back to Win’, while the judges were fresh faces, stepping in to replace the previous panel. 

The food lovers have also experienced ups and downs outside of the kitchen, and here we take a look at how 2020 is coming to an end for these ‘MasterChef’ fan favourites.

Emelia Jackson 

Instagram/emelia_jackson
'MasterChef Australia: Back to Win' winner Emelia Jackson is enjoying pregnancy after announcing she is expecting her first baby.

The winner of the 2020 season, ‘MasterChef Australia: Back to Win’, recently announced she and partner Craig Gersbach are expecting their first child. 

In an Instagram post shared on December 19, the cake queen informed her followers her baby is due in June. 

“Excuse the toilet in the background but this baby is popping today.. Sous chef coming in June,” she wrote next to a photo of her cradling her blossoming figure. 

Emelia first appeared on ‘MasterChef Australia’ in 2014 and returned to the show this year, defeating runner-up Laura Sharrad in the grand final and claiming the top prize. 

Melissa Leong 

Instagram/fooderati
'MasterChef Australia' judge Melissa Leong and husband Joe Jones have split.

On Sunday, judge Melissa announced she and husband Joe Jones have split after eloping in 2017.  

“It has brought us such happiness to walk together, but the time has come for Joe and I to part ways and walk on, apart,” she wrote on Instagram.  

“We ask for your kindness and consideration for our privacy, we will not be making any further comment as our private lives have, and will always remain exactly that. 

“We wish you peace at the end of such a challenging year for all.” 

Melissa is ’MasterChef Australia’s’ first female judge, joining the cooking show this year alongside fellow new judges Jock Zonfrillo and Andy Allen

She first met Joe at his Melbourne bar, Romeo Lane, before meeting again at a function 18 months later and hitting it off. 

They got engaged after just three months of dating and tied the knot two months later. 

Reynold Poernomo 

Channel 10
'MasterChef Australia' star Reynold Poernomo

The Sydney-based dessert king will miss his girlfriend, Chelia Dinata, at Christmas, as she’s still in Bali, Indonesia, and can’t travel to Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. 

In an interview with HuffPost Australia in July, Reynold said he’d been speaking daily to his girlfriend of two years and hoped he would see her before the year ends. However, this won’t happen, as there’s a ban on overseas travel from Australia unless you get an exemption from the Department of Home Affairs.

“I really can’t wait to see her again,” he said at the time. “I don’t know when. Hopefully it’s not next year, but even so, we’re happy to wait.”

Instagram/reynoldpoer
'MasterChef Australia' star Reynold Poernomo (L) and girlfriend Chelia Dinata will spend Christmas apart.

Reynold has been dating Bachelor of Commerce graduate Chelia, who is also a lifestyle influencer and works at an Indonesian cookie business called By Chhino. 

In the meantime, his dessert bar, Koi, is booming in the lead-up to Christmas, with Reynold and brother Ronald having launched a new frosty range of sweets to align with ‘Frozen The Musical’ playing in Sydney. 

Reece Hignell 

Channel 10
'MasterChef Australia's Reece Hignell will be operating his business Cake Boi out of a commercial kitchen in 2021

Up until now, Reece has been operating his cake business out of his home in Newcastle. But that’s all about to change. 

The cook recently revealed he’s secured a commercial space to sell his scrumptious treats out of, and preparations are coming together for a 2021 launch. 

“Let them eat cake” Its happening Newy, @cakeboinewy is coming 2021. I am over the moon to let yall know that I will be moving my business into a commercial space opening in January 2021,” he wrote on Instagram in November.

“Think old school cakes, classics, things your Nan baked... CWA realness...”

He also shared he’s on the hunt for local staff, including a barista, cake baker and junior baker to help him out in the kitchen. 

Rose Adam 

Channel 10
'MasterChef Australia' contestant Rose Adam will miss her brother, George this Christmas

It will be an emotional Christmas for Rose and her family as they mourn the death of her brother, George, who died on Sunday. 

In a tribute post shared to her Instagram account on Wednesday, the reality TV contestant described her sibling as her “best friend” and a “gentle, sweet, honourable, helpful, fiercely protective, funny, loving and strong man”. 

As of Wednesday, the family had not disclosed the cause of George Adam’s death. George had helped run The Middle Store, a family-owned Adelaide cafe, with Rose and their sister, Haefa.

Rose and Haefa have informed customers the cafe will be closed until further notice and any orders and reservations for the week of Christmas have been cancelled. 

“We are absolutely devastated and completely heartbroken at the passing of our beloved little brother George yesterday,” read a message on the business’s Instagram account.

“Thank you to everyone for your love and support yesterday and through messages and phone calls, we’re sorry we can’t respond to you all, it’s just a bit too much right now.” 

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