Kay-Lene Tan’s ‘Dessert Masters’ Journey Is a Sweet Tale Of Self Discovery

dessert masters kay-lene tan

In the high-stakes world of MasterChef: Dessert Masters where precision meets creativity, Kay-Lene Tan emerged as a standout pastry chef, despite never being in a competition like this before. Her resume is lined with impressive roles, including The Ritz-Carlton, Coda and Tonka, but despite her achievements, Tan admits she suffers from imposter syndrome, believing she’s not good enough. As we’ve all seen, that’s not true.

“It was just a little bit surreal to believe that I could be at this calibre and, you know, be good enough to stand next to these legends,” she says of her time on Dessert Masters.

Unfortunately, her puddle of changing seasons fell short of wowing the judges and led to her elimination, along with fellow contestant Kirsten Tibballs.

Despite the meticulous planning, Tan acknowledges the difficulty of achieving the perfect balance within the five-minute time constraint. She highlights the challenge of committing to a presentation, even when intuition hints at possible adjustments. In the fast-paced world of MasterChef, the ability to commit and hope for the best becomes a culinary art in itself.

Kay-Lene Tan on her MasterChef: Dessert Masters Journey

MasterChef: Dessert Masters was never about winning for Tan; it was simply about putting herself out there, challenging what she knew she could do, and, ultimately, a journey of self-discovery.

“To believe in myself, to be so proud of all the things that I’ve created on the show — that’s what I walk away with,” Tan tells The Latch over the phone.

Tan’s journey into the world of pastry was a pivot from documentary production at the age of 24. Seeking a career that aligned with her passion, she enrolled in culinary school, drawn to the precision and discipline of pastry.

“They say if you work in a job that you love, you never work a day in your life; that’s what I wanted,” she explains.

Looking ahead, Tan has exciting plans for the future. She is set to collaborate with Adam D’ Sylva on a new restaurant called Decca, which will be a venture into modern European cuisine.

With a strong mentorship and eight years of collaboration, the duo anticipate creating a unique dining experience with a blend of great food and a positive working environment.

“I just love that attention to detail when it comes to pastry and dessert,” she notes. “I can’t wait to create more desserts at Decca.”

MasterChef Australia: Dessert Masters airs Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays at 7.30pm, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.

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