Graham Elliot has been a judge on Fox’s MasterChef since its launch back in 2010, but today the chef confirmed that he’s out. Season 6 of the cooking competition wrapped in September and was renewed in July for a seventh. Fox said at the time that all three of the show’s judges would be back.
“It has been an awesome experience to be part of the MasterChef family,” said Elliot said, who also had been a judge on the spinoff series MasterChef Junior since its launch in 2013. “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 six years.”
The news comes the same day Fox announced a two-hour spinoff special called MasterChef Celebrity Showdown to air January 18. The network noted that it will be hosted by MasterChef‘s Ramsay and Christina Tosi — but Elliot’s name wasn’t mentioned. Ramsay inked a new two-year deal with Fox in August.
“I remain committed to using my passion for cooking as a way to entertain and teach people of all ages,” the Chicago-based chef and restaurateur added in today’s statement, “and will be making some exciting announcements about the next steps of that journey in the new year.”
Fellow original MasterChef and MasterChef Junior judge Joe Bastianich exited the franchise in November 2014. He was replaced on both series by Tosi for 2015.