MasterChef's long-running and original trio is gone.
MasterChef's long-running and original trio is gone. Channel 10

Shock as MasterChef judges leave show

Network 10 has pulled the plug on Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris, confirming the trio will not return to MasterChef next year.

Chief executive officer Paul Anderson said: "Despite months of negotiation, 10 has not been able to reach a commercial agreement that was satisfactory to Matt, Gary and George."

"We would like to thank Gary, George and Matt for their contribution over the past 11 years," he said.

The three judges are gone.
The three judges are gone.

"MasterChef Australia has always been about ordinary Australians doing extraordinary things for the love of food and we believe it is very important to continue that ethos.

"Australia is full of remarkable cooking talent and we can't wait to introduce another group - and the next generation of exceptional judges - in season 12 of MasterChef Australia next year."

Last week Calombaris was revealed to have underpaid staff at his Melbourne restaurant empire more than $7.8 million.

The chef and his Made Establishment company was fined $200,000 by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Calombaris has apologised for his actions, but that did not stop more than 22,000 people signing a petition calling for him to be sacked from MasterChef.

"George should pay a serious price for this massive theft of workers' wages," the petition reads.

"Channel Ten should stop making excuses for this serial wage thief."

The reality cooking show's grand final airs tonight.