The MasterChef meal that moved judge Melissa Leong to tears

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The MasterChef meal that moved judge Melissa Leong to tears

'I'm really proud to eat food like this': The MasterChef meal that moved judge Melissa Leong to tears as she's reminded of her mother'

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‘I’m really proud to eat food like this’: The MasterChef meal that moved judge Melissa Leong to tears as she’s reminded of her mother’s cooking

Melissa Leong was moved to tears during Monday’s episode of MasterChef.

The 38-year-old judge was tasting contestant Poh Ling Yeow’s ‘Malaysian feast’ when she had an emotional reaction to the meal.

‘I think you’ve done an incredible job honouring your heritage. I think it’s really special,’ she told Poh, 47, before breaking down in tears. 

Getting emotional: MasterChef judge Melissa Leong was moved to tears during Monday's episode

Getting emotional: MasterChef judge Melissa Leong was moved to tears during Monday’s episode

She continued: ‘And I’m really proud to eat food like this… I’m actually crying with joy. That doesn’t happen very often, but yeah.’ 

Clearly moved by her intense reaction to the dish, fellow judge Jock Zonfrillo asked Melissa what it was that had caused her to become so emotional.

‘I really miss my mum and this is… this is food she cooks. Like, the smell of that in the house on the weekend…’ she explained tearfully. 

The 38-year-old judge was tasting contestant Poh Ling Yeow's 'Malaysian feast' when she had an emotional reaction to the meal

The 38-year-old judge was tasting contestant Poh Ling Yeow’s ‘Malaysian feast’ when she had an emotional reaction to the meal

‘The way she can honour the accuracy of the flavours and the textures is absolutely spot on and that’s what great food can do.

‘Her culture, your culture, intrinsically linked. But regardless of what culture, I think you can feel it in the food in that way and what she put into this cook, that’s what we look for here.’ 

The show’s remaining contestants were tasked with creating a dish in line with a colour scheme, and it quickly became apparent that Poh’s dish resonated with Melissa.

'I think you've done an incredible job honouring your heritage. I think it's really special,' she told Poh before breaking down in tears

‘I think you’ve done an incredible job honouring your heritage. I think it’s really special,’ she told Poh before breaking down in tears

‘I’m gonna make a little Malaysian feast. I’m gonna do a very, very traditional nyonya chicken curry…’ explained Poh.

‘I’m feeling really happy about this dish because I’m in my comfort zone and it completely represents me and the way I grew up. 

‘My journey with my cultural cuisine actually started in MasterChef season one. 

Clearly moved by her intense reaction to the dish, fellow judge Jock Zonfrillo asked Melissa what it was that had caused her to become so emotional

Clearly moved by her intense reaction to the dish, fellow judge Jock Zonfrillo asked Melissa what it was that had caused her to become so emotional

‘I realised I had let go of so much of my culture, trying to assimilate as a migrant kid, that I had to find that thing that reconnected me again, and food became that thing.’

As Melissa approached Poh’s work bench, she was immediately transported to her family home.

‘This smells like my mum’s kitchen in here… This is very, very special,’ she told Poh.

'And I'm really proud to eat food like this... I'm actually crying with joy. That doesn't happen very often, but yeah,' said Melissa

‘And I’m really proud to eat food like this… I’m actually crying with joy. That doesn’t happen very often, but yeah,’ said Melissa

Poh said she was happy she could give the beloved MasterChef judge a memorable food experience. 

‘Melissa and I have had very similar upbringings, and there’s no doubt that food plays such a huge part of growing up in that part of the world,’ she said. 

‘I love that we share this story, so it’s nice that I can give her a piece of that today.’

Later in the episode, an emotional Poh described Melissa’s reaction to her meal as being incredibly flattering.

‘There is no higher compliment I could receive than someone reacting like that to my food. Because I don’t think people… Mmm,’ she said, before breaking down. 

‘I don’t think people can react to food like that if they don’t feel it’s been made with that love. So that’s a really nice feeling.’ 

'The way she can honour the accuracy of the flavours and the textures is absolutely spot on, and that's what great food can do,' Melissa said of Poh's dish

‘The way she can honour the accuracy of the flavours and the textures is absolutely spot on, and that’s what great food can do,’ Melissa said of Poh’s dish

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