Jess and Reynold on Dessert Masters
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Interview: The one advantage Jess and Reynold have in the Dessert Masters Kitchen

"Jess and Reynold would have had an understanding of that"

The Chocolate Queen Kirsten Tibballs was eliminated from Dessert Masters, leaving Jess Liemantara, Reynold Poernomo and Gareth Whitton to battle it out in the Grand Final.

During a post-elimination interview with Chattr, Kirsten reflected on her weaknesses in the cooking competition and said that those same qualities gave Jess and Reynold an advantage.

“Reynold and Jess being very familiar with the way MasterChef runs and the kitchen and the facilities, that is a big advantage,” she said.

Reynold competed on seasons 7 and 12 of MasterChef Australia, while Jess was part of seasons 10 and 12.

Kristen Tibballs
Dessert Masters. Ten.

Jess and Reynold’s other advantages going into the Dessert Masters final

Kirsten explained that she wasn’t used to the time restraints of completing a dish on MasterChef or Dessert Masters, and believed this worked as a disadvantage for her.

“I’m very much about technique, precision, and not cutting corners. But I think there are certain times in the kitchen where you have to say to yourself, ‘I’m going to have to let go of the fact that I need to check the bricks of the sorbet base with a refractometer before I can share because I simply don’t have the time’. I believe that Jess and Reynold would have had an understanding of that.”

Kirsten added that another advantage she thinks Jess and Reynold have is their young age.

“They were a lot younger than me,” she said. “They’ve probably got a lot more energy than me, be faster, and maybe have better memory going to the pantry.”

“I’m not a spring chicken anymore. On one recipe I use 72 ingredients, so to not only try and carry that from the pantry but to try to remember it! I lost seven kilos during the filming and a portion of that was due to running back and forth,” she laughed.

Reynold making Snow White
Dessert Masters. Ten.

On her disappointment about her bird cage crumbling

In the final five challenge, Kirsten built a beautiful birdcage made out of chocolate. However, in the final moments as she went to serve it up, the entire thing crumbled, which ultimately led to her elimination.

Looking back at the moment, Kristen described it as “pure devastation.”

“As soon as it smashed, I knew with the time left there was physically nothing I could do,” she recalled. “It was the devastation that when you get into the semifinals, and I was comfortable with the way I was going throughout the cook, you start to think about the Finale. So there was that as well, that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to compete in the finale coming this far that had ended.”

Dessert Masters 2023 Grand Finale airs at 7.30 pm on November 28 on 10 and 10Play.

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