Los Angeles: Joe Bastianich, who serves as a judge on cooking-based show 'Master Chef as well as its youth-oriented series 'Master Chef Junior', will exit the series after the latter's third season.
Producers are currently looking for a third judge to join Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"Joe has played an integral role in the success of both Master Chef and Master Chef Junior, and we all appreciate his incredible culinary insight, sense of humour and passion. He will always remain a member of the Master Chef family," producers Shine America, One Potato Two Potato and Fox said in a joint statement.
Bastianich, a restaurateur with eateries in New York, Las Vegas, LA and Singapore, has served as a judge for on both series.
His last run will be with 'Master Chef Junior', which returns for its third season on January 6."After several gratifying years as a judge on Master Chef and Master Chef 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 Master Chef and three seasons of Master Chef 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."