MasterChef announces major star as season 16 guest judge: 'Very happy'

A familiar face is returning to the MasterChef kitchen.

Less than a month after revealing a brand new line-up of judges, MasterChef Australia has announced its first guest judge for season 16.

British celebrity chef and restaurateur Jamie Oliver is set to return to the MasterChef kitchen in 2024 to help guide the latest group of contestants through the competition.

MasterChef's Sofia Levin, Jamie Oliver, Andy Allen, Poh Ling Yeow and Jean-Christophe Novelli.
Jamie Oliver will return to MasterChef in 2024 as a guest judge. Photo: Channel 10

“Returning to the MasterChef kitchen and spending time in Australia makes me very happy,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

“I think MasterChef Australia is the best food show in the world - amazing production values and an incredible story of transformation.

“I love seeing how the contestants constantly surprise themselves about what they can achieve. More than that, MasterChef connects Aussies to food and the joy of cooking and that can only be a positive thing.”


Jamie will appear in the MasterChef kitchen over two weeks, which is the longest appearance a guest chef has ever made on the Channel 10 series.

The bestselling cookbook author has been appearing on MasterChef Australia since 2010 and starred in season 15’s premiere episode earlier this year.

Filming for season 16 kicked off this week after Jamie flew to Australia to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises.

During his visit, he also joined former MasterChef judge Melissa Leong for a special ‘In Conversation’ event at the Sydney Opera House.

MasterChef's Jean-Christophe Novelli, Andy Allen, Poh Ling Yeow and Sofia Levin.
The season 16 MasterChef judges are Jean-Christophe Novelli, Andy Allen, Poh Ling Yeow and Sofia Levin. Photo: Channel 10

Who are the MasterChef judges for 2024?

While Melissa Leong has stepped back from MasterChef to prioritise her role on Dessert Masters, her co-star Andy Allen will return for season 16 to continue the legacy of the late Jock Zonfrillo.

He will be joined by season one runner-up Poh Ling Yeow, food critic and journalist Sofia Levin, and multi-Michelin Star award-winning chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.


Andy said in a statement: “MasterChef Australia has been part of my life for over a decade. It gave me a pathway into the industry and led me to a career that I'm forever grateful for. After an extremely difficult year in 2023, and upon reflection, the decision to return to the series is not one I took lightly.

“But there is something special in the MasterChef Australia kitchen, and it feels right to come back to work with the amazing production team, and to play my role in seeing the contestants do as I have done. 2024 will be the start of a new chapter, and it will be surreal - yet brilliant - to share this moment with my fellow judges, Poh, Sofia and Jean-Christophe.”

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.

Or if you have a story idea, email us at