“Pastry chefs are the most competitive people you’ll meet”

“Pastry chefs are the most competitive people you’ll meet”

Melissa Leong, who hosts and judges Dessert Masters with Amaury Guichon, is here to tempt your taste buds with a little slice of the new 10 show.

The series features Kirsten Tibballs, Jess Liemantara, Morgan Hipworth, Kay-Lene Tan, Gareth Whitton, Reynold Poernomo, Anna Polyviou, Andy Bowdy, Rhiann Mean, and Adriano Zumbo battling for a $100,000 prize.

This feels like a yummy version of MasterChef: Professionals dipped in chocolate?
ML: I like that, may I steal it for future use? It really is MasterChef meets high concept sugar rush and I’m here for it. To have such high calibre beings in the kitchen, throwing down the MasterChef gauntlet and seeing what pops, now that’s a show worth watching!

Amaury looks like dream casting. What was he like to work with?
ML: He really is, in more ways than one. To begin, he is the world’s hottest pastry chef right now. His creations defy imagination… and sometimes gravity. His process videos garner up to a billion views, and the way he approaches pastry as a discipline is unlike most. He also happens to be a total sweetheart, and kind and generous friend, and his sense of humour is a wonderful thing to be around.

The calibre of contestants includes some of the top names in the country, together with MasterChef graduates. Are there reputations at stake here?
ML: Of course! Let’s face it, nobody is here for the cash. There are those among them who have set pressure tests in the MC kitchen, there are those who have crushed them. Each have built a style and a business in pastry, and they can say what they want, but pastry chefs are the most competitive people you’ll meet. Of course they want to know if they can take this title out, in such strong company. The one thing they have in common is they know how unpredictable, magical and unlike anywhere else in the world that space is…and it’s invitation only.

Visually it’s a very colourful palette for a tasty palate. Are you expecting kids to be tempted by the sweet stickiness of it all?
ML: Desserts are magical, visual creations and it’s easy to fall in love with them…it’s why I know Australia will love Dessert Masters. Will kids be tempted? Probably…but not until after they’ve had their veggies.

Might this be even better than MasterChef’s main event?
ML: There’s only one way to find out, David!

Why did you decide to move on from the lead series and what’s next for you?
ML: Without my time at MasterChef, I wouldn’t have realised my appetite for telling stories that go beyond food. I feel blessed to be given the opportunity to step away from MC to allow myself the space to see what else I can do…we all deserve opportunities to expand and evolve. There are a few projects in the pipeline, some of them in television and others not, all I can say right now is watch this space!

Dessert Masters 7:30pm Sunday – Wednesday on 10.