Celebrity chef Graham Elliot is leaving “MasterChef” US after six seasons in the franchise.
Fox confirmed that longtime judge Graham will exit the show and its spinoff, “MasterChef Junior,” after the upcoming fourth season of the children’s edition, The Hollywood Reporter wrote.
Graham’s replacement is expected to be announced in 2016.
Variety quoted Elliot saying in a statement: “It has been an awesome experience to be part of the MasterChef family. I learned so much from the people I got to work with and it has been a true honor to share my love of cooking with the audiences who have allowed me into their homes over the last 6 years.”
Producers Endemol Shine North America, One Potato Two Potato and Fox said in a joint statement: “Graham has been an incredible judge and mentor both on MasterChef and MasterChef Junior.”
The show producers added the Michelin star chef provided insightful guidance to the home cooks who joined the most famous kitchen in television and also played an important role in discovering some of the country’s greatest amateur cooks.
Entertainment Weekly quoted executive producer and fellow judge Gordon Ramsay as saying: “We’ve all loved having Graham as part of the MasterChef family, and the exciting and interesting part of reality television is that it’s always evolving and changing.”
THR noted that Elliot is the second judge to exit the reality cooking competition. Restaurateur Joe Bastianich, who also served as a judge on “MasterChef” US and “MasterChef Junior,” quit the show in late 2014. He was replaced by pastry chef Christina Tosi.
Elliot is also currently hosting Food Network’s “Craziest Restaurants in America.”
Meanwhile, Fox announced the first-ever celebrity “MasterChef” special that will feature stars including Gigi Hadid and “Empire” star Kaitlin Doubleday. The celebrities will be doing the cooking battles against each other for their chosen charity.
According to THR, there will be four battles in the two-hour special.
- Hadid vs. Devon Windsor
- Doubleday vs. Ta’Rhonda Jones
- “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star Terry Crews and his wife, Rebecca, vs. “The Last Man on Earth” Boris Kodjoe and his wife, Nicole Ari Parker
- “MasterChef” winners Luca Manfe, Christine Ha and Claudia Sandoval vs. Season 4 “MasterChef Junior” contestants Addison, Amaya, and Zac.
The “Masterchef” Celebrity Showdown is set to premiere on Jan. 18.