Zumbo's Just Desserts serves up magical dishes
ADRIANO Zumbo has proven himself to be a magician as well as a dessert master in his new TV series.
The patissier's new show Zumbo's Just Desserts debuted on Monday to more than a million viewers with its promise of indulgent prime-time viewing.
His decadent creations, including a floating chocolate hat, may cause pain for the contestants trying to recreate them but they're designed to inspire wonder in viewers sitting at home and hopefully salivating in front of their TV screens.
"It's about making something that people are going to want to look at and connect with," Zumbo told APN's The Guide.
"But you can make something crazy and people will go 'it looks cool but what is it?'"
Zumbo is still adjusting to his rising fame. He introduced Australia to the croquembouche and popularised macarons on MasterChef, but until now he had never hosted his own show.
"When you've got your face sprayed everywhere at the moment (like I do) it feels like I can't get away from myself. It is a bit surreal," he said.
His focus on Just Desserts is to create a fun atmosphere where the contestants can feel free to experiment even though they're being critiqued.
"My motto is keep it short and sweet," he said. "Get straight to the problem (with the dish) and then finish off with some encouragement and solutions."
Assisting him in his colourful dessert factory are judge Rachel Khoo and contestant mentor Gigi Falanga.
Many viewers would know Khoo from her recent guest role on My Kitchen Rules, but Falanga is a fresh face on our screens.
Born in Brazil, she is a rising star in Sydney's food world, although she admits she never aspired to be a pastry chef.
"I decided to be a chef because I loved healthy food, but when I got my first job I was working for a chef and doing most of the pastries. Once they put me in the pastry kitchen I fell in love with the beauty of the final product," she said.
"I see desserts as beautiful art on the plate. I love colours and flowers and my entire family like art, so it felt like a natural extension of that."
The show's winner will take home $100,000 in prize money and also have one of their creations in Zumbo's stores.
But Channel 7 will be hoping enough viewers hang in long enough to watch the finale. The show shed a quarter of a million viewers between its first and second episodes and has been labelled by some viewers as 'boring' and slammed by others for being too similar to Foxtel's Great Australian Bake Off.
Just Desserts continues on Monday, going back to just two nights a week, when the remaining 10 cooks will be asked to create the ultimate kids party cake.