Andy Bowdy Wants You to Know His Desserts Are More Complex Than You Might Think

masterchef dessert masters andy bowdy

Andrew Bowden, more often referred to by his pastry alter ego, Andy Bowdy, is a Sydney-based pastry chef known for his creative cake designs. Most have gone viral on social media, but he’s infamous for making a hype peanut butter and banana sundae. You can find him behind the kitchen at Salma’s Canteen in Rosebery, shoving everything from pavlovas to pear and hazelnut cakes in the glass case.

More recently, we’ve watched him wow the judges of MasterChef: Dessert Masters with his creations. Who can forget when he served them his little pile of trash? Mel described it as “the best trash she’s eaten”. It even surprised Amaury Guichon.

His rustic presentation stood out in the competition against the other contestants, but when it came to wowing the judges with a trifle — a Christmas classic, he fell short and was eliminated from the competition, along with fellow contestant Anna Polyviou.

“For me, trifle is a no-brainer,” Bowdy tells The Latch over the phone. “I used to make them in Saga when it was open a few years ago. It’s always been a symbol of Christmas for me.”

Bowdy explains his nan used to make trifles for the family, the same nan he spent hours in the kitchen with, eventually becoming the reason he is a pastry chef today.

“I watched her bake and make the family happy — I wanted to make people happy with my desserts.”

As for when he was approached to be on MasterChef: Dessert Masters, Bowdy had his reservations. “I’m an introvert, I don’t like public speaking, and I get nervous in front of people,” he explains. But ultimately, it was the challenge that drew him in. “I want to get better at these things, so I thought, why not challenge myself?”

For Bowdy, Dessert Masters was a chance to push himself creatively, too. He wanted to know if he still had it, and jokes that his only goal was not to go home first.

When it came to the top contender, Bowdy picked out Adriano Zumbo, whom he has looked up to since he was a young chef. “He didn’t know it at the time, but I used to go to his patisserie in Balmain just to watch what he was doing and see what wacky flavours he was making this time.”

Bowdy credits Zumbo for exploring new flavours in his creations. “I loved that he was doing stuff no one else was doing.” Bowdy even admits he thinks apricot is the best fruit, and frozen mashed potato is good. Talk about thinking out of the box.

The major focus for Bowdy this season was his presentation. “I’m rustic, it’s my style,” he says. Having gone to art school, Bowdy likens himself to Jackson Pollock, saying, “I think my desserts are attractive, but people would disagree.”

Often called out for being too rustic or simple, Bowdy argues that his desserts require a degree of difficulty. “There’s a lot of thought behind the construction of my desserts and how I want people to eat them.”

As for what’s next for the not-so-shy pastry chef, Bowdy says he would love for a resort to hire him so he can live on an island and retire. However, in a much sooner reality, Bowdy has a lot of trifles to make over the Christmas season for Salma’s Canteen.

“Hopefully, sales don’t dip after that episode,” he jokes.

MasterChef Australia: Dessert Masters airs Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays at 7.30 PM Channel 10 and 10 Play.

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