Reynold Poernomo was thrust back in the public eye when he competed on Dessert Masters 2023, however, it’s not the first time he hit the headlines.
Back in 2014, he competed on MasterChef Australia season seven and came in fourth place. He went on to take part in season twelve, where he placed third.
Then, in 2020 some homophobic comments he posted months before his first MasterChef appearance in a body-building forum resurfaced. The comments went viral and there were countless negative articles about his remarks.
He has since apologized and told Daily Mail Australia he’s “deeply ashamed” of the comments.
During an interview with Chattr, Reynold reflected on how he’s learned to deal with the negative side of being in the public eye, including having old comments come back to haunt him.
“One of the biggest things is to move on and learn,” he said, adding: “There’s been many lows. I told myself, “Okay, as long as I can get through this, it will set me up for bigger challenges in the future.”
Reynold reiterated that public backlash has made him a stronger person and helped him grow.
“There have been small, petty things to some really big things and there are things and areas in life where you’ll be faced with very difficult challenges.
“It’s all about being wise and learning from it and being able to grow from it, especially when you do grow from it you get stronger and can take on bigger challenges.”
The Dessert Masters runner-up, who now boasts over a million followers on Instagram, added that he never intended to become a public figure.
“I just keep doing what I love, which is just making food.”
Reynold is expanding his restaurant
Reynold is one of the many chefs who competed on Dessert Masters 2023 and owns an eatery.
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.
Reynold revealed that now that Dessert Masters is over, he is focussing on opening Koi in Melbourne.
“We are going to be expanding to Melbourne,” he said. “I was hoping for it to be earlier, but with design changes etcetera, it will be opening in March and then I’ll be looking abroad for overseas opportunities.
“I just want to give it one last shot in the high-end side of things in Australia before I move on.”
Stream Dessert Masters on 10Play.