Adriano Zumbo, Australia’s very own Willy Wonka, is often seen in front of the pass, inspecting MasterChef contestant’s crumbles, tuiles, and compotes. More recently, we’ve watched him behind the pass, sweating it out in a MasterChef: Dessert Masters relay challenge, and assembling a deceptively real-looking teapot that even judge Amaury Guichon said was as good as his, if not better.
“That was the highlight for me — it’s the words that I will keep in my back pocket and pull out when I need the encouragement,” Zumbo said in an interview with The Latch. It’s also these words that helped soften the blow when Zumbo was eliminated from the competition last night.
Apart from being told every challenge from now on is an elimination challenge, the contestants were tasked with making a dessert inspired by a movie. Zumbo chose Grease.
“I felt like it had a good food connection,” Zumbo said. The other movies on the board didn’t have that connection, he explained, so he thought it was the “easier choice.”
Zumbo crafted a milkshake, a classic Grease icon, and although he nailed the flavours, a crack in his cup left the judges eating their hearts out over the pastry blunder. Zumbo was soon eliminated from the competition.
Adriano Zumbo: MasterChef Reflections and What’s Next
Despite this shortcoming, Zumbo said his time on MasterChef: Dessert Masters was a fun challenge, one that got him to try new things. “It’s a great platform to do something wild you couldn’t do at a restaurant or patisserie — unless you want to do it for the ‘gram.”
When he first stepped into the kitchen, Zumbo saw everyone as a threat.
“Everyone has different strengths, and they’re all masters in their own right,” he said. “We all have our own perceptions of creativity, which was great to see come alive, but it’s a competition, so to me, everyone was a threat.”
Despite the competitive nature of the contestants, Zumbo explained they were all a family, spending time together off camera. “Every night, without fail, a few of the contestants and I got gelato. Melbourne has such a great gelato scene, and we took advantage of it,” Zumbo said. “They called me ‘three scoops’, because I always got three scoops.”
As a MasterChef veteran, Zumbo looks back on his times in the kitchen with joy. “I think if anyone wants to audition for MasterChef, you need to have an open mind and thick skin,” he said. “If you get knocked down, get back up again, or you won’t make it.”
So, what’s next for Zumbo? Well, he told us that for the rest of the year, he’s going to focus on spending time with his “greatest creation yet” — his son, Maximum Mario Zumbo, born October 9, 2023.
However, something tells us this won’t be the last we see of Zumbo, on screens or behind a counter somewhere. Zumbo has been a mainstay in the dessert landscape in Australia, and that’s not changing anytime soon.
MasterChef Australia: Dessert Masters airs Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays at 7.30 PM Channel 10 and 10 Play.
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