24/06/2020 5:32 PM AEST | Updated 24/02/2021 4:42 PM AEDT

MasterChef Australia: What Happens To The Leftover Food

Judge Melissa Leong explains a "low waste policy" is front of mind on the cooking show.

A show like ‘MasterChef Australia: Back To Win’ is a major production with huge amounts of food being prepared, although not all of it is consumed on set.

Judge Melissa Leong has explained what happens to the leftover ingredients and food after challenges wrap up, saying sustainability and a “low waste policy” is a big priority for the Channel 10 show.

With a full-time sustainability officer working on the show, Melissa said some food is given to “food rescue” group Second Bite, which then redistributes it to charities and not-for-profit organisations, while the rest is put through a “closed-loop organic system”.

Channel 10
'MasterChef Australia: Back To Win' judges Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo

“Nothing gets thrown away that could have another life. So some of the produce is also distributed to cast and crew as well, we donate money to charity and then we can kind of go shopping at work every so often,” she told The Design Files.

As for the closed-loop composting, she explained: “What happens is that it gets ground down and cooked into compost, and that goes back into the gardens at Masterchef because that’s a huge part of the show, the fact that we grow fruits and vegetable s and herbs that the contestants can use”.

Melissa said she also made a special request to production while shooting, and that is “no single-use plastic” on her rider. 

On ‘MasterChef Australia: Back To Win’ this year, Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo have replaced former judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston.

There are 24 previous contestants including Poh Ling YeowReynold Poernomo and Callum Hann who have returned to the series for another shot at victory, but we are now up to the final seven. 

‘MasterChef Australia: Back To Win’ continues on Sunday at 7:30pm on Channel 10.