Adriano Zumbo, the celebrated Australian patissier and chef, has launched his own reality television show on Channel Seven. Tilted Zumbo’s Just Desserts, the television show is a dessert-making competition in which 12 amateur dessert-makers from different backgrounds compete with each other to win the $100,000 prize.
Adriano’s show will run for a total of 10 episodes, with one contestant being eliminated from the competition each episode. Adriano Zumbo will not be the only expert who will be judging the competitors, as the challenging task will be made easier by Rachel Khoo, the British cook, who is accompanying him on the show.
— #JustDessertsAU (@justdessertsau) August 29, 2016
Additionally, Gigi Falanga, the Brazilian patissier, will be adding a touch of glamor to the show by assisting Adriano and other contestants as a time-keeper. Channel Seven has done its best in promoting the show as it expects to garner favorable audience ratings, and News Australia reports that, previously, the television network was disappointed with the failure of earlier cooking reality shows like Restaurant Revolution.
However, critics have voiced mixed reactions regarding the show with many suggesting that Adriano Zumbo lacks the panache to drive a television cooking show despite his great culinary skills. Additionally, the chef had proved to be a painful taskmaster during a previous stint as a guest judge on Masterchef Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that, in fact, Adriano had rightfully gained the villainous title of “Patissier of Pain” when he directed the Masterchef contestants to work on the painful task of preparing a tall croquembouche choux-pastry tower.
— Channel 7 (@Channel7) August 30, 2016
According to News Australia, Adriano Zumbo’s popular stint as a guest judge on Masterchef Australia might have initially turned culinary reality show fans towards the new show, however, it will take more than his celebrity status to make the show consistently popular.
Irrespective of the mixed reactions about his show, Adriano Zumbo has revealed that his primary aim will be to encourage the contestants to hone their skills by attempting to conjure up some magical desserts.
While Zumbo’s Just Deserts may have suffered from extensive criticism and relatively low ratings for its first few episodes, B&T reports that after its most recent episode saw it as the most-watched entertainment show, even rating ahead of Married at First Sight, The Block, and Australian Survivor.
— SimonLeong (@SimonLeong) September 1, 2016
Adriano Zumbo might have gained unprecedented fame and celebrity status after appearing as a “juggernaut task master” on Masterchef Australia, however, Zumbo has been in the restaurant business for a long time now. In fact, the expert patissier has been pursuing his passion of catering to people with a sweet tooth since his school days.
As a teenager, Adriano Zumbo used to delight his friends and teachers with the White Wings cake mix he had prepared at home. Naturally, the chef’s efforts were much appreciated by the dessert lovers in his country school, who found his sweets simply irresistible. It was at this time that a very young Adriano Zumbo decided to pursue his passion of catering to his patron’s sweet temptations by becoming a patissier.
Later, the budding chef moved to Sydney to pursue his career by taking a job in Dobinson’s Cakes in Rose Bay. Even though his stint at Dobinson’s Cakes was a stepping stone in his career, it was Adriano’s culinary training at Neil Perry’s Rockpool group of restaurants that eventually helped him learn the much-needed skills to become an expert patissier.
— Clem Hall (@channelclem) August 25, 2016
It was Rockpool where Adriano Zumbo had the opportunity to sharpen his skills by working under Dean Gibson, the expert chocolatier who helped Adriano broaden his horizons. In fact, it was Dean who helped Adriano develop new perspectives by helping him to attend and watch the 2003 Pastry World Cup. If Dean Gibson is credited for being Adriano’s guiding light, Adriano, in turn, enjoys the credit of being a talented student who has made his teacher proud. According to the Daily Telegraph, Dean Gibson has revealed Adriano Zumbo to be one of the best apprentices that he has ever taught.
“Adriano has always been different and he has always been passionate and his ideas, even back then – I had 13 apprentices in my time at Rockpool and his ideas were always outside the square.”
Apart from featuring on television as an expert chef and a culinary judge, Adriano Zumbo also manages his famous pastry shop located on Balmain’s Darling Street.
[Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images]