The judge will exit the series following MasterChef Junior’s third season, The Hollywood Reporter explains.
Producers of the FOX competition series are currently looking for a new face to join Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot on the judging panel.
“Joe has played an integral role in the success of both MasterChef and MasterChef Junior, and we all appreciate his incredible culinary insight, sense of humor and passion. He will always remain a member of the MasterChef family,” producers Shine America, One Potato Two Potato and Fox said in a joint statement.
“After several gratifying years as a judge on MasterChef and MasterChef Junior, I have decided to step down from my role on the show,” Bastianich said in a statement. “It has been a pleasure working alongside Gordon and Graham on five seasons of MasterChef and three seasons of MasterChef Junior, and I look forward to continuing my current collaborations with Shine America. As co-owner and partner of the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, as well as Eataly throughout the Americas, I will be focusing my time and energies on their continued global expansion.”