A themed elopement and a shared passion: Inside the relationship of MasterChef's Melissa Leong.

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During Sunday night’s episode of MasterChef Australia, we got a glimpse into the lives of judges Melissa Leong, Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo.

And it was Leong’s husband Joe Jones and their fluffy child Ghost who really won viewers over.

Case in point:

See? We loved them.

Leong and Joe met after being introduced by a mutual friend, and eloped to the Californian desert in February 2017.

Melissa Leong is one of the new judges on MasterChef Australia. Post continues below video.

Video via Channel 10

Their engagement came after a casual conversation over dinner one evening.

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


They married in the Joshua Tree National Park in a 60s, rock’n’roll-style ceremony.

“Joe and I share a common aesthetic for all things vintage and a bit rock’n’roll. And I think eloping is a pretty rock’n’roll way to say ‘I do’! The theme of our wedding day, if I had to label it, would probably be ’60s rock’n’roll. Think Bourbon and records at dawn, a shift dress, beehive hair, slim cut suiting… and cake for breakfast.”


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A post shared by Joe Jones (@joeyromeolane) on

The pair have two cat children – Ghost, who MasterChef fans saw on screen and who also regularly pops up on Leong and Jones’ social media, and the much more camera-shy Ghoul.


Like Leong, Jones has a passion for food.

He is a trained chef and bartender who owns Melbourne cocktail bar Romeo Lane.

Following his appearance on MasterChef, Leong shared a message to her husband on social media.

“Shout outs to my awfully hot husbando for being a legend and agreeing to be on MasterChef with me tonight,” she wrote on Instagram.

“Not only is he a classically French trained chef with a specialist focus in pastry, he’s also an award winning bartender and bar owner and one of the best things to ever happen to me. Thanks bubba. The end.”


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A post shared by Melissa Leong | FOODERATI (@fooderati) on


In February, Leong and Jones celebrated their third wedding anniversary and to mark the occasion Jones wrote a tribute to his wife, who has had a very busy year due to MasterChef commitments.

“Most things worth doing aren’t always easy and have the capacity to be dramatic and really stressful at certain times, but I sort of believe the hard parts of your life overlapping and trying to dissolve your comfort is what living really is, and even if it gets heaps harder – I’m still happy to do it with you,” he wrote.


MasterChef has continued filming despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but even so Leong told Domain she and Jones have been cooking up a storm with their extra time.

“Like people all over the world right now, I’m making comfort food,” she said. “Times are so uncertain and from once glance on social media, you can see everyone is baking bread, making pasta, caking it away.

“At our house we take turns at bringing our family heritages to life – my husband Joe’s Italian roots, my Singaporean Chinese ones, as well as our joint obsession with mainland Chinese cuisine as well. I love making my mum’s Hainanese chicken rice, and Joe’s mum’s silverbeet with chickpea, lemon and chilli. Very different, but equally soul-filling.”

She told the Daily Telegraph iso life has given them to opportunity to make more “time-consuming things” like pasta and ragu from scratch.

“I’m lucky that my husband is also as chef and bartender, so he’s been occupying the kitchen a lot, given the current global circumstances. Above all, I think the thread that connects everything we’re eating is comfort. Big flavours, contrasting textures and that magical ingredient we’ve all suddenly been given a heaping dose of: time.”

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Feature image: Instagram.