Poh Ling Yeow in Stellar: MasterChef star speaks candidly about divorces

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Poh Ling Yeow has opened up about going through two divorces, and the impact its had on her attitude toward marriage, in a candid new interview.

The MasterChef Australia judge, 50, who was married to Matt Phipps from 1989 until 1999 and Jonathan Bennett from 2009 until 2021, explained in the new issue of Stellar magazine how she managed to remain on good terms with both her ex-husbands.

“We kept all the good bits and threw away all the bad bits,” Yeow said.

“And there’s something about having gone through the ugliest of things with someone … If you are willing to do some emotional excavating, it can be repaired to again be unbreakable.”

She went on to admit she no longer finds marriage “necessary” – and that she’s “very unsure about cohabitating” again.

“I think it’s very sensible to maintain a sense of individuality because so much of what is toxic about relationships is that merging, [which is] often what we think is the right thing to do.”

As Yeow pointed out: “We’re now in 2024; I feel like we can explore other models.”

The TV personality and chef, who shot to fame as a contestant on season one of MasterChef, has since gone on to host several cooking shows, including Poh’s Kitchen and Poh & Co, and has published multiple cookbooks.

Having turned 50 late last year, Yeow admitted she’d only just started to “like” herself.

“I read somewhere once that the closer you get to death, the more alive you become, and I think it’s so true when you hit middle age,” she told Stellar.

“I love being 50 because it’s taken me this long to actually like myself.

“It’s tedious to confess, but a classic scourge of being a woman. I think it’s how people become more eccentric as they get older. You have to care less because there is no time to waste obsessing over silly things.”

It was announced late last year that Yeow will return to the Ten series that first launched her TV career, this time as a judge alongside Andy Allen and fellow newcomers, chef Jean-Christophe Novelli and food writer Sofia Levin.

Melissa Leong, who has appeared as a judge since 2020, will not be returning in 2024.

“They don’t want us to be mimicking anyone or getting into what I like to call being a

typical ‘hosty’ host,” Yeow explained of the MasterChef shake-up.

“And, so, they’ve been very careful about giving us too much feedback and they want us to find our own voice and style.”

MasterChef Australia season 16 will premiere Monday, April 22 on Ten.

Find more from Stellar via Instagram @stellarmag or pick up a copy inside The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), Sunday Herald Sun (VIC), The Sunday Mail (QLD) and Sunday Mail (SA)