“I’m really happy with my point in life right now,” she says. “I think you work really hard to earn your happiness, and [I’m] understanding that I strive more for contentment rather than happiness.
“Contentment is sustainable, and making choices in my life that continue to allow me to remain content and continue to work at that, that is something I’m very focused on.
“But personal things and personal relationships, I think I’m going to leave a little bit of mystery.”
Leong doesn’t really need to say anything about her private life. Her social media account says it all, painting a picture of a woman deeply in love.
“Love you all the way,” she wrote in a birthday post to Mason. “Luckiest girl in the world,” she gushed in another.
Mason, who owns Morris Motley men’s haircare and fragrance company, has been equally forthcoming online. “Happy valentines … you’ve been a legend since the day you slid into my DM’s – long may it continue.”
To Leong, food is a “love language” and she explains that she uses it to express her emotions and feelings for those around her.
“I was born into a Singaporean Chinese family, so it’s in the DNA,” she says. “Food has always been an essential part of who I am. I like to say it’s our love language. It’s how we express affection for one another – to share food, eat food together and to cook with one another.
“As I became an adult and moved out of home, I was always on the phone to my mother asking her how to make specific dishes as I would get homesick,” she remembers.
“It became very clear to me how important food is for carrying stories. It’s the vessel for culture.”
In the past, Leong has spoken of her battles with mental health, and she is again generous with her insights and willingness to share to help others.
“Anxiety and depression are just part of being human,” she explains. “We do need to normalise these conversations so people realise they are not alone, so they know what to do when things happen, and they feel like they are in an untenable place.
“They are never alone when you go through these things, not if you ask for help. I’m proud to be part of a groundswell of many, many voices who share their experiences and hopefully make people feel a little less isolated in their own personal experience.”
MasterChef Australia: Fans vs Favourites begins April 18, 7:30pm, on 10.