Ten of the best pastry chefs in the country have been whittled down to just three on Dessert Masters 2023. The Grand Finalists are Reynold Poernomo, Jess Liemantara and Gareth Whitton, who will battle it out for the winning crown.
Unlike its sister show MasterChef, the contestants on Dessert Masters aren’t home cooks but instead established chefs.
Ahead of the Dessert Masters 2023 Grand Final, find out a bit more about each chef’s background.
Jess was a contestant on seasons 10 and 12 of MasterChef Australia and came fourth and twelfth respectively.
Since being on the cooking show she’s racked up a huge social media following, where she’s known as ‘Jess Lemon’. She has over 240,000 followers on Instagram, who she shares photos and videos of her stunning dessert creations with.
Post-MasterChef, Jess Liemantara opened two establishments; a dessert shop named Esme and a Roti shop called Roarti. However, both are currently temporarily closed.
Jess received rave reviews in episode six from the judges for her Birds Nest creation.
Like Jess, Reynold is also a MasterChef Australia alum; he was on seasons seven and twelve, and came fourth and third, respectively. Reynold was born in Surabaya, Indonesia, but moved to Sydney when he was four.
Out of the entire Dessert Master’s cast, Reynold is one of the most established when it comes to restaurants. He and his brothers Ronald and Arnold Poernomo founded KOI Dessert Bar and have since opened KOI Experimental. They also own a small bar called Monkey’s Corner which sits in Sydney’s Chippendale and is a small restaurant/bar that focuses on Japanese-inspired dishes and serves quirky cocktails.
Reynold won the only immunity pin of the season back in episode one for his Monochrome dessert.
Gareth Whitton is one of the country’s most experienced and established chefs. He has worked at a 3 Michelin star restaurant and under one of the world’s most impressive chefs, Heston Blumenthal.
He owns Tarts Anon, which was launched amid Melbourne’s Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. Word got out about his amazing home-cooked tarts, and they were quickly snapped up as soon as they were out of the oven. From there, Gareth went on to open Tarts Anon’s flagship location in Cremorne, Victoria with partner Catherine Way.
Though Gareth hasn’t been a MasterChef contestant, he has been on the show before. He set a Pressure Test during Season 14 – which tasked the contestants with recreating his Smoked Pecan and Butterscotch Tart.
In episode six of Dessert Masters, Gareth was the runner-up to Kirsten Tiballs for his Black Forrest Tart and just missed out on immunity.
Dessert Masters 2023 Grand Finale airs at 7.30 pm on November 28 on 10 and 10Play.