"I never expected myself to be here in the finale of all places," Gareth said after being crowned winner. "For me to come through at the end is unreal. It's out of this world."
Gareth earned a huge score of 35/40 for his dishes, with Reynold coming second with 28/40, and Jess Lemon just behind at 27/40.
The first season of Dessert Masters saw ten of Australia's best pastry chefs, chocolatiers and dessert makers gather together to duke it out for the title of Australia's first-ever Dessert Master. These included: Kirsten Tibballs, Anna Polyviou, Jess Liemantara, Adriano Zumbo, Kay-Lene Tan, Andy Bowdy, Morgan Hipworth, Rhiann Mead, Reynold Poernomo, and of course, Gareth Whitton.
Tonight's grand finale included a two-course service challenge, where the top scorer would be crowned champion. It was a dream come true for MasterChef Australia fans, who finally got to see the two dessert icons, Jess and Reynold, battle head-to-head. But on the night, Gareth reined supreme.
Gareth stuck to his strengths for his first dish, whipping up a rhubarb tart. It was received incredibly well by the judges, with Melissa Leong and Amaury Guichon singing his praises. "Mel, this is my type of dessert," Amaury said. Meanwhile, Melissa praised him for "smart" and "considered" cooking. However, they said he could have gone further with his presentation.
Meanwhile, Reynold had absolutely seen better days, with issue after issue coming to the fan-favourite. Despite this, he received mostly glowing reviews from the judges, however, Amaury recognised that it "wasn't his best".
Jess Lemon's 'Not So Strawberries and Cream' was criticised for its presentation with judges saying it looked rushed. Once the judges dug in, it was revealed that Amaury's dish was missing a filling inside. However, Melissa and Amaury still praised the dish despite the missing element.
Then it was onto the second course.
For the second course, Gareth created a wattleseed and chocolate mousse. "I understand why he was running crazy in the kitchen because there is so much going into this dessert," Amaury said. Meanwhile, Melissa was in awe about the flavour combinations. "It sounds nuts, but it really works," she said.
"This is a Dessert Master dessert," Amaury praised. Indeed, it was!
Jess Lemon's second dish was up, dubbed 'Pink Petal'. After a last-minute panic after her sorbet froze hard, the judges praised her dish for its immaculate presentation and fantastic taste. The only downside? Her sorbet. "The question here is: is this the redemption dish?," Melissa said. "I think it is." We've got to love women supporting women!
Finally, the last dish of the night (and the season!) was placed by Reynold, who hoped that the third time was the charm. His second course, named 'Milk and Honey', had a lot to love about it. But unfortunately, Amaury didn't enjoy the dish, criticising it for being frozen. "It fell short in execution," Amaury said.
Then came the scores.
Jess earned a 6/10 for her first dish and 7/10 for her second dish from Amaury. Melissa scored Jess a 6/10 for her first dish and 8/10 for her second dish. Her total score was 27/40.
Reynold earned an 8/10 for his first course and a 7/10 for his second course from Melissa. Amaury scored him a 7/10 for his first dish and a 6/10 for his second course, for a total of 28/40.
Then came Gareth. Amaury scored his first dish an 8/10 and his second dish a 9/10. Melissa delivered 9/10s for both of his dishes, earning him a whopping score of 35/40.
Apart from a brief stint as a guest judge, this was Gareth's first foray into the MasterChef Australia world. The renowned pastry chef has worked at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and two cult Melbourne dessert locations, Lune Croissanterie and Tarts Anon, where he currently resides as executive pastry chef and director.
Now that the season is over, we're wondering how we can fill that dessert-shaped hole in our life. Our only comfort at the moment? MasterChef Australia's new season has begun filming and Dessert Masters will be returning for a new season. Sweet as.