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Dessert Masters 2023: Reynolds Speaks Out Following Third Devastating Loss

The Aussie chef has revealed his plans to move abroad.
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Just days after the inaugural series of Dessert Masters officially drew to a close for 2023, runner-up Reynold Poernomo has admitted he will never return to the beloved cooking show. 

First appearing on the reality show in 2015 and placing fourth, the pastry chef returned five years later ending the season in third place. Now, after a third stint on the MasterChef franchise, where he placed second, Reynold has announced his plans for the future.  

WATCH: MasterChef Dessert Masters Promo. Article continues after video. 

Admitting to Yahoo Lifestyle that there was “not a chance” that he would return to the franchise, he revealed his recent loss had sparked a decision to move abroad. 

“I can’t just be pigeonholed the whole time on the show,” he shared.“It’s time for me to keep growing and keep moving on to bigger things. It’s not the end, it’s just the beginning.”

“Maybe I might go for Michelin overseas, maybe I might go into the entertainment industry overseas. But definitely somewhere in Asia or somewhere in the States.”

Explaining that he initially turned down offers to return to the show for a third time, the chef admitted he eventually agreed for the good publicity. 

“After giving it a couple of thoughts, I thought maybe it’s good exposure and a good chance for me to showcase what I do again,” he told the publication

“Also because I was opening my Melbourne store. Although it’s delayed until March next year, it was still a great opportunity for me to showcase my craft on Dessert Masters because it’s the biggest platform to showcase what my family and I have built.”

Despite his losses, he confirmed he has no hard feelings, adding that he “enjoyed” the experience overall.
(Credit: Ten)

Throughout their Dessert Masters journey, each of the contestants showcased their unique talent for complex flavour and sophisticated presentation however, not everyone was able to stand the heat, leaving finalists Reynold Poernomo, Jess Liemantara, and Gareth Whitton, as the final chefs in the kitchen.

Remaining a consistent front-runner throughout the competition, MasterChef Australia alumni and KOI Dessert Bar founder Reynold’s oak wood gelato earned his place in the grand finale, with judge Amaury Guichon stating that Reynold’s innovation “is definitely a Dessert Master worthy dessert.”

Joining Reynold in the grand finale was fellow MasterChef Australia alumni Jess, whose intricate and matcha moss bonsai tree forced her to push her creative boundaries in order to land her place in the final three. 

“At the start of the competition, I would not have even dared such a thing… I wanted to put everything into this cook because it could be my last day,” Jess said during the semi-final. 

The final three were tasked with the most ambitious challenge of the competition. (Credit: Ten)

As one of the underdogs throughout the competition, pastry chef Gareth Whitton’s focus and flavourful semi-final dessert promoted him to the final three, with his artichoke, apple, and hazelnut truffles leaving a lasting impression on the judge’s tastebuds. 

Entering the final challenge, tensions in the kitchen continued to run high, with each of the contestants showcasing their determination as they cooked their way closer to the $100,000 grand prize. 

Tasked with the most ambitious challenge of the competition to date, the final three were tasked with crafting a full service experience in under four hours, consisting of a two-course dessert to cater for 15 people. 

Gareth was crowned the winner of Dessert Masters Australia. (Credit: Ten)

With the final challenge underway, the judges closely kept a close eye on the contestants, with judge Melissa Leong stating, “Gareth has a lot of experience in the kitchen, but Jess and Reynold have experience in this kitchen.”

Following the conclusion of their allotted challenge time, Reynold, Jess, and Gareth presented their meticulously crafted two-course dessert experience to the judges.

While each contestant received high praise from both judges, it was Gareth’s expertly crafted flavours that pushed him to the top of the leaderboard, with Melissa and Amaury crowning him as the first ever winner of Dessert Masters with a score of 35/40.

“It’s surreal. I never expected to be here at the finale. Full credit to the guys, it was such a good cook today. This is unreal, it’s out of this world,” Gareth said following his win.

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