MasterChef fans divided after judge names 'most boring ingredient on the planet'

Viewers weren't impressed with Jean-Christophe Novelli's controversial comment.

MasterChef judge Jean-Christophe Novelli / Savindri ‘Sav’ Perera.
MasterChef judge Jean-Christophe Novelli declared okra to be the ‘most boring ingredient on the planet’. Photos: Channel 10

MasterChef judge Jean-Christophe Novelli has divided viewers on social media after he described an ingredient as “the most boring ingredient on the planet”. The French chef admitted during Monday night’s episode that he wasn’t a fan of okra, a green, tube-like fruit that’s eaten as a vegetable and grown all over the world.

Also known as lady’s fingers or bhindi, okra has a unique grassy flavour and is commonly used in soups, frying, roasting or boiling. Its taste is often compared to green beans or eggplant, and the texture changes from crunchy to tender depending on how it's cooked.


Savindri ‘Sav’ Perera was given the task of cooking with okra during the ‘Lucky Dip’ immunity challenge, which saw contestants having to select two Hong Kong-inspired ingredients at random. After choosing to swap tapioca pearls for fear of making a dessert, Sav ended up with okra and shrimp paste.

“Okay I can work with that, nice,” she said after okra was revealed under her cloche. “There’s a lot I can do with this because I’m lucky enough to know how to work with this ingredient quite well.”

Okra on MasterChef.
Okra has a unique grassy flavour and is commonly used in soups, frying, roasting or boiling. Photo: Channel 10

Following a 75-minute cook, Sav served the judges a Malaysian-style barramundi yellow curry with charred okra and funky rice.

Judge Sofia Levin praised the fish’s crispy skin and her creative use of the shrimp paste in the rice. Meanwhile, Jean-Christophe commended her use of okra as he admitted he isn’t normally a fan of the ingredient.

“Okra is, for me, the most boring ingredient on the planet,” he confessed. “But you know what? I enjoyed it and you’ve convinced me. It’s lovely, it’s cooked, it’s the right tenderness and that char? Ping! That’s superb.”

Fans took to social media following Jean-Christophe’s controversial comment to share their thoughts on the ingredient, with many admitting they love okra.

“Okra, the most boring ingredient in the world!?! I beg to differ,” one person posted on X, followed by another who added, “I'm going to have to reassess my feelings towards JC after that comment about okra”.

“Chargrilled okra is fantastic. That was a clever take,” a third wrote, while someone else commented on Instagram, “I love okra so much and you cooked it so well”.

“Good work getting okra delicious! I tried so many ways and never worked for me! Recipe please,” former contestant Snezana Calic replied.

Sav also left a comment on MasterChef's Instagram post, writing: “JC I still love you even if you called okra boring.”


Meanwhile, others agreed with Jean-Christophe that they didn’t love okra but they would happily try Sav’s dish.

“I am not a fan of Okra at all but I could tell how delicious that dish looked,” one viewer remarked, with a different user adding, “Okra. Always a bit of a mystery to me”.

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