Dessert Masters winner gareth whitton reynold poernomo koi dessert bar jess liementara masterchef melissa leong

The ‘Dessert Master’ Winner Has Been Announced After A Stressful Finale

Tell us you love Punkee without telling us you love Punkee. Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter. It'll mean the world.

Dessert Masters has crowned its first-ever winner after a fierce battle in the kitchen. Finalists Reynold Poernomo, Jess Liemantara and Gareth Whitton produced some insane dishes in the finale, but it was Gareth who took home the grand prize of $100,000.

“Underdog” pastry chef Gareth, who co-founded Melbourne’s Tarts Anon, said he knew that he had the ability to “shake things up” in the kitchen. “I couldn’t be happier to have been asked to be involved in the very first Dessert Masters, and to come out the other side with the chocolates makes it that much sweeter,” he said.

“I always knew that I was somewhat of an underdog coming into this competition, however, I knew that a few unique skills and years of tough restaurant work could be enough to shake things up.”

Dessert Masters winner gareth whitton reynold poernomo koi dessert bar jess liementara masterchef melissa leong

Melissa Leong, Gareth Whitton and Amaury Guichon on Dessert Masters. Image credit: Channel 10, Dessert Masters

He added that his new friendships and connections made during his time competing on Dessert Masters were both “enjoyable and constructive”. “The inspiration and friendship my fellow contestants and the judges provided has motivated me in ways that words can’t describe,” he said. 

Fans refuse to accept that Reynold Poernomo didn’t win Dessert Masters

It’s hard to believe that Reynold Poernomo has never won a culinary cooking show. He’s competed twice on MasterChef, and fans (myself included) were hoping to see him finally snag a win on Dessert Masters. Sadly, his final dishes didn’t wow the judges as much as his previous offerings. 

@itspunkee Dropped by @KOI Dessert Bar to chat with @Reynold about Dessert Masters 🍰 #dessertmastersau #masterchefaustralia #reynoldpoernomo #koidessertbar #dessertmasters #masterchef ♬ Houdini – Dua Lipa

Social media has been flooded with comments about how Reynold is still considered the “Dessert King” and it’s obvious that the KOI Dessert Bar chef is universally loved.

“Well done guys. Reynold you don’t need to have that trophy. You are the trophy,” one person commented.

“Your talent has been recognised by millions of people around the world. Keep your head up, learn more and create amazing ideas,” another added.

“Oh hell no! I’m going to tell my future kids that you are the Dessert Masters winner. You are forever the champion!” a third wrote.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Reynold (@reynoldpoer)

What happened in the Dessert Masters finale?

The finale was no joke, with each contestant battling it out in a two-course service challenge. 

Gareth played to his strengths, creating a delicious rhubarb tart for his first course, dubbed “smart and considered” by judge Melissa Leong. The only note was that his presentation needed some work.

Reynold’s ‘Floral’ dish included jasmine gelato, a feijoa cremeaux, strawberry snow and elderflower sake snow. He had a few hiccups when creating his first dish, with judge Amaury Guichon saying it “wasn’t his best”. 

Jess presented a ‘Not So Strawberries and Cream’ dish to the judges, but she was marked down due to the presentation. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by MasterChef Australia (@masterchefau)

Gareth then delivered a chocolate and wattleseed mousse, and while it sounds simple, he was “running crazy in the kitchen” to get all the elements together. This was the highest-scoring dish of the night, with Melissa wondering how the flavours worked so well. “It sounds nuts, but it really works,” she declared. 

At this point, it was clear that Gareth was in the lead, but we’ve seen Jess and Reynold pull out some incredible dishes in the past. Jess’ second dish, called ‘Pink Petal’, looked delicious. Sadly, Amaury wasn’t enamoured with the texture of her sorbet.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by MasterChef Australia (@masterchefau)

It all came down to Reynold’s final dish, named ‘Milk and Honey’. It combined citrus and honeycomb together with an orange blossom gelato. He missed the mark slightly, with Amaury saying it was too cold. “It fell short in execution,” the judge explained. 

Gareth easily snagged the win, earning an impressive 35 out of 40 points for his two desserts, with Reynold coming in second with 28 points, and Jess 27 points. 

Image credits: Channel 10, Dessert Masters