She has been tasked with, well, playing the taskmaster on the premier season of Channel Seven’s cooking competition Just Desserts. And Brazilian-born model-turned-cake boss Gigi Falanga, 34, says just because she looks sweet does not mean she suffers fools gladly in the kitchen.
Before joining the show, Falanga worked alongside punk pastry legend Anna Polyviou at Sydney’s Shangri-la Hotel. “That’s why I took this role,” Falanga tells WHO. “I was always in the kitchen, looking after everything, checking on what people were doing.”
During that time, Falanga reckons she underwent an image makeover of sorts. “I never liked having someone on the team who was too soft. But in those two years, I think I figured out how to polish the way I talk. I was probably a little too tough at the start … English is my second language, so I came across very rude. And I’m brutally honest sometimes.”
On Desserts, Falanga serves as both host Adriano Zumbo’s assistant as well as the official timekeeper on the floor. The latter task, Falanga says, is one she is more than happy to fulfil. “When you work in a kitchen, you’re always against the clock! You don’t have much to placate anyone. One of my skills as a chef, and why I grew so fast, is that I never cry. I deal with the pressure. You can’t just have a meltdown if something goes wrong. Find a solution. And be tough.”