Dal will always have my heart: Melissa Leong
Melissa Leong, the ever-smiling face you can recognize on the reality show MasterChef Australia, put on several hats. The show’s judge and presenter is not only an accomplished food and travel writer, but also a food media consultant, radio host and cookbook editor. MasterChef Australia was streaming on Disney + Hotstar.
Born and raised in Sydney to Singaporean parents, Leong believes her sense of generosity, kindness and concern for each other and clients makes her passionate about her work. “Going beyond your life should be a daily ritual,” says the 39-year-old.
For the judge and the presenter, food holds a very special place in her life. She continues, “I think food is food at all levels. Flavor, texture and balance of course, but also emotion, soul, stories.
Each experience leaves many memories and lessons. And the journey of each season of the series has also enriched his life, says Leong. “I have learned that the best food comes from the heart and that it is honest, kind and open. It tells me who the creator is, and that tells me a lot, ”she says.
Being of Singaporean Chinese descent doesn’t stop the food writer from trying different cuisines. She shares, “I like to cook a lot of nonya and Chinese dishes due to my family background and education. But I also like to cook a lot of pasta and also Euro-centric stews.
The last seasons of the series have seen great exposure to Indian cuisine. Delighted to see cuisine take center stage on a global platform, she said, “Indian cuisine is one of the oldest and most diverse food cultures in the world, and to see such regional uniqueness. and having these candidates so nicely articulated is what makes her so special. ”
Ask her if she has a favorite, when it comes to cooking she replies, “Dal will always have my heart. It’s the most humble of foods, but it takes a lot of skill to make it delicious.
With a diverse set of judges and contestants, the show has been a pioneer and a change maker in many ways. Speaking about how important this has been to the show’s culture, Leong shares, “I think diversity has always been a key part of competitor programming since Season 1. It’s just different years producing. different concentrations of people, such as skills and histories. Chef has always been a celebration of cultural diversity, and I’m proud to be part of that story now.
His only advice to future candidates and chefs around the world is to bring their truth to the kitchen, work hard, listen to the advice given by people who matter, don’t overwork or overthink, and find their own personality in their dishes. “It’s not a very difficult formula,” she concludes.