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RECAP | GARETH WHITTON becomes first MASTERCHEF: DESSERT MASTERS WINNER

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Get ready for the Grand Finale of Channel 10’s MasterChef: Dessert Masters. Let’s recap one more time!

It’s Grand Finale time! Reynold, Jess and Gareth have their work cut out for them but not without the love and support of the eliminated contestants, spectating from the gantry.

What’s one type of MasterChef challenge we haven’t seen this season? Service. What are the guys doing this finale? You guessed it. Service!

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Dessert Masters Grand Final (Image - 10)
Dessert Masters Grand Final (Image – 10)

The finalists have four hours to make a two course dessert for fifteen people as well as the judges and each judge will rate each course out of 10. Whoever get’s the highest score out of 40, will become Australia’s first Dessert Master.

So who has the best chance of winning? Jess and Reynold are returning MasterChef contestants – both first time grand finalists – with a point to prove. Gareth has never competed on MasterChef before but he has a wrath of experience performing dessert services.

“Gareth has a lot of experience in the kitchen but Jess and Reynold have experience in this kitchen.” Melissa summarises.

At the start of the challenge, Reynold appears pretty chill. “I serve twelve courses to twelve people on a daily basis.” He explains. About an hour in, he realises he’s missing something he normally has. Other chefs to help him. It’s time for Reynold to get a wriggle on.

Jess wants to make the pink petals that she failed to produce in her last semi finale. She explains to the judges how each pink petal plate requires fifty petals. “Fifty petals each? There’s 17 plates so that’s 850 petals,” Amaury gawps. Jess shrugs, she’s gained so much confidence this season, she knows she’s got this.

With fifteen minutes before the start of service, the guests start to arrive. Over at Gareth‘s bench, he’s leaking rhubarb from his rhubarb tart, no wait… that’s blood. Oh god, he doesn’t have time for a cut hand, he bandages his hand and keeps going.

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The First Course:

Reynold’s first course is Floral, made with feijoa, Jasmine and Elderflower, “It’s pretty epic. The difference in colour invites you to try more of it.” Melissa is mesmerised by the finesse of Reynold’s opening dish.

Dessert Masters Grand Final (Image - 10)
Dessert Masters Grand Final (Image – 10)

Gareth’s opens with a Rhubarb tart. “Mel, this is my type of dessert.” Amaury starts but because it’s grand finale, Amaury has to start splitting hairs and aims for Gareth’s achilles, “It tastes great but it could be plated and presented better,” Throughout this whole season, Amaury has been telling Gareth to get more creative with his presentation but insists on letting his flavours doing the talking.

Dessert Masters Grand Final (Image - 10)
Dessert Masters Grand Final (Image – 10)

As for Jess’ Not so strawberries and cream, the judges are in awe as the waiters pour the liquid nitrogen. “It looks amazing but rushed,” Melissa points out. “Have you tried the filling?” She asks Amaury. “I don’t have any,” Amaury frowns, he wants a refund. Melissa gushes about how great the filling is. “I wish my dish’s experience was as good as yours.” Amaury says.

Dessert Masters Grand Final (Image - 10)
Dessert Masters Grand Final (Image – 10)

The Second Course

As Gareth is plating, he feels pretty good about his dish but looks over his shoulder at the elegant desserts Reynold and Jess are plating. “I know it tastes good but I hope it looks good enough.” He says.

Gareth presents a Wattleseed and Chocolate moose. “I know why he was going nuts in the kitchen, there’s so much going on here. This is amazing.” Amaury is in awe. Melissa marvels over the all the flavours, “it’s a lot of combinations, that go so well together.”

As Jess starts plating her second course, she comes to the conclusion 50 petals is OTT and 20 will do. Once she’s finished constructing the petals, she realises she’s left her sorbet in the blast freezer for too long and its rock solid. She warms up a spoon to scoop the sorbet, “I’m glad I got all the elements on the plate but I’m worried about compromising the sorbet.” She winces.

Dessert Masters Grand Final (Image - 10)
Dessert Masters Grand Final (Image – 10)

At first, the judges don’t notice the texture of the sorbet, they’re in love with the petals but they eventually circle back to the sorbet. “The sorbet’s a bit grainy but I like the taste.” Amaury adds. “Is this the redemption dish? I think that it is.” Melissa says. “To make hundreds of these wafer thin petals, people underestimate this work.”

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Reynolds serves his Milk and Honey. “There’s a lot of love with this dessert. It’s the aroma and sweetness of honey, without being overpowering.” Melissa praises but Amaury has other ideas, Reynold has only served frozen elements for this challenge. “I was looking for more of a gel than a frozen element. Everything is too frozen and it’s muted the flavours.” He critiques.

Dessert Masters Grand Final (Image - 10)
Dessert Masters Grand Final (Image – 10)

The results:

Dessert service and the final cook is finished, everyone cleans up and gets ready for the final results.

Jess receives a 6/10 from Amaury for her first dish and a 7/10 for her second. Melissa gives Jess’ first dish a 6/10 followed by a 8/10, giving her a total score of 27/40.

Reynold receives a 6/10 from Melissa for his first dish and a 7/10 for his second. Amaury gives Reynold’s first dish a 7/10 followed by a 6/10, he finishes with a 28/40.

Gareth receives a 8/10 for his tart dish and 9/10 for the Wattleseed Moose from Amaury. Melissa gives him a 9/10 and… a 9/10.

With 35/40, Gareth Whitton has officially won $100,000 and has become Australia’s first MasterChef: Dessert master.

MasterChef: Dessert Masters winner Gareth Whitton says:

“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.”

Runner up Reynold Poernomo, reflect on his third time in the MasterChef kitchen:

“Shorter, sweeter but each time I’ve been here it’s steered me to a career that I love to be proud of. I’m so greatful.”

Grand Finalist Jess Liemantara adds:

“It has been such a humbling experience, I’m now cooking along side these amazing people.”

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Know more about this or another Australian media story?

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Samantha Kirkley
Samantha Kirkley
Samantha Kirkley is a Melbourne based writer and taking over the internet one blog post at a time.
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