Inside MasterChef judge Melissa Leong’s private life

Meet the people and critters that have been behind the wonderful culinary star.
Melissa Leong Joe Jones cats
Melissa Leong, Joe Jones and their fur-babies, Ghost and Ghoul.

She may entertain, culinarily inspire and warm our hearts on screen, but it seems like MasterChef judge Melissa Leong’s private life was once all the more heartwarming to your taste buds.

WATCH: Melissa Leong on the set of WHO’s Sexiest People shoot 2020

The 38-year-old SBS celebrity chef turned reality TV host has had a momentous career, pioneered some of the most valuable Asian-Australian and migrant family representation on Aussie TV, and stuns us with every model pic. Truly, it’s no wonder she was WHO’s Sexiest People cover star in 2020

And, as we prepare for her to radiate our kitchen down-lights and charm us every episode of MasterChef Australia 2021, let’s take a moment to reflect on the person and critters behind the wonderful culinary star. 

Melissa Leong Joe Jones
Melissa Leong with her ex-husband Joe Jones when they secretly eloped in 2017. (Credit: Instagram.)

Is Melissa Leong married?

In 2017, Melissa Leong eloped with ex-partner and bar owner of Romeo Lane in Melbourne, Joe Jones. In an adorable exchange of events, their engagement actually came about casually over dinner one night.

“Over dinner Joe asked me, ‘So, how does eloping work exactly? Do you need to get engaged first?’,” she revealed to Vogue.

“I told him I had about as much idea as he did (none), so instead, we decided to speculate on where we’d run away to, if we did decide to elope. The all-knowing dice decided that our already planned trip to the US in three-ish months would be it, so we just went with it.”

The intimate ceremony, which came just mere months after they had met through a mutual friend, was held at the Joshua Tree National Park in California. 


But, on the 21st of December, after four happy years together, the pair announced they had split.

“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 said in a post about the breakup.

“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 Leong MasterChef
Melissa Leong is one of the judges of MasterChef 2021 (Credit: Instagram/Channel Ten.)

How did Melissa Leong and Joe Jones meet?

In what seems to be the case for many a beloved celebrity couple, Melissa Leong and Joe Jones first met in passing a year and a half before they even developed romantic feelings for one another.

“I first met him briefly at his bar in Melbourne Romeo Lane,” Leong revealed to TV Week.

“Then we met again properly about 18 months later at a function. We started talking there and we’ve just not ever ceased since really. It’s pretty cool.”

Watch: MasterChef’s Melissa Leong introduces ‘hot husband’ Joe Jones.

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Is Melissa Leong dating?

After breaking up with her long-term husband of four years, Joe Jones, in December, it’s unclear – and frankly, unlikely, – that MasterChef judge Melissa Leong is seeing anyone serious right now.

Does Melissa Leong have children?

Melissa Leong does not have kids. While she has served as a judge on MasterChef Junior for years and has a warm, inviting and kind spirit, she is not a mother. 

Melissa Leong Joe Jones cats
Melissa Leong, Joe Jones and their fur-babies, Ghost and Ghoul. (Credit: Instagram.)

Does Melissa Leong have any pets?

Yes, Melissa Leong has two cats. While the MasterChef Australia 2021 judge doesn’t have any human children, she owns a pair of fur-babies: Ghost, an adopted blue Tonkinese kitten, and Ghoul, Ghost’s brother who’s often “too wiggly to take many good pics [of].”

“He’s had a very big year,” she said about Ghost’s 2020, alongside a cute snap of the cat in question on Instagram. “His likes include taking up all the room in the bed, doling out withering stares, and deciding Pilates mat time is time to chase feet.”

Following her split from Joe Jones, it’s unclear who now has custody of the pair’s fur children.

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