Zumbo’s Just Desserts [food show review]

Guys, remember Adriano Zumbo from Master Chef Australia? Well, how can you not. He is known for his magical yet deadly dessert challenges and ofcourse the croquembouche tower from season 1. His desserts are totally on another level and he now runs a chain of seven patisseries in Sydney and Melbourne. I have been following ZumboPatisserie on instagram and i just love the feed.

Now, guess what?! Adriano Zumbo has his own show on TV which was aired first on Monday, August 22.  It’s called Zumbo’s Just Desserts, an Australian baking/dessert competition where 12 best amateur dessert-makers compete for a $100,000 prize and will get to see one of their creations featured in Zumbo’s shops. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it.

I’m just going to talk a little about this show and what i thought of it. But let me tell you, if you are a passionate baker just go ahead and watch it and decide how you like it.

So, imagine a dessert magician paired with British celebrity chef Rachel Khoo – Now, that’s a perfect match and a dream come true for me. Hooray! I was so excited to be watching her in a food show again. Yes you got it, i pretty much adore her.

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo are the hosts of the show along with Gigi Falanga. Gigi who? She’s a former Brazilian model turned pastry chef. Gigi has worked alongside Anna Polyviou – the punk princess of the pastry world and apparently she’s the rising star of the dessert scene. So, 3 hosts from different backgrounds and experiences, which should have made it an interesting show you would think, or not. But before getting into the details, let me get back to the charming Rachel Khoo. I gotta confess I’m totally biased when it comes to her – I love Rachel Khoo and everything about her. I can watch her show The Little Paris Kitchen on repeat for days and i won’t mind. If you haven’t seen it yet you should. Let me warn you, you will also fall in love with Paris and the world famous French boulangeries and cafes. Now you know what my next travel destination on the bucket list is.

the hosts

Concept of the show is nothing new though. In fact its like MasterChef and Great Australian Bake-off whisked together. Not very original. Anyway, so the show begins with splashes of color, candy and all things sweet – It’s obviously inspired by the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory theme and Rachel calls it the dessert factory. It’s like dessert, magic and art coming together in one place. The next episode promos show a floating dessert. Yup, a gravity defying work of edible art. Like, woah! would love to see that one. As the show goes on it doesn’t instantly pull the viewer in except for us gawking over Zumbo’s crazy dessert creations. But, even with all the magical effects it seems meh – or maybe its just me.

In the first episode the contestants were challenged to use their imagination and create a dessert that’s a “reflection of yourself” in just three hours. Kate’s Apple Pie Mille Feuille was the winner of the day and i definitely have my eyes on that one. Gotta give it a shot soon. You can find the recipe for it here.

winner dessert

Adriano Zumbo is no doubt a talented and renowned patissier, but unfortunately he doesn’t have a TV personality. He could have been a mentor or a tasting judge but creating an entire show on him wasn’t the best of ideas. The hosts actually need to relax and be more fun and engaging to make it work.

I don’t mind the quirky set as much as the voice overs, the annoying buzzing clock (reminds me of the series ’24’) and the candy music, it all just lacks a maturity that’s very much needed if it wants to appeal to a wide audience. But on the other hand i also think that this show is not for anyone and everyone. Only the most passionate bakers and cooks with experience would be interested in watching. But if the show had been more interactive with a bit more energy like other successful food shows, I’m sure dessert lovers would be inspired and motivated to watch and try out the desserts made on the show.

I was reading some tweets about how this show is a rip off of other good shows and i really think it should be given a chance and not outright be labeled as a disaster. Let’s not be so cruel guys. I will admit I wasn’t glued to the first episode like i expected i would be, after all its DESSERTS we are talking about. But it was bit of a drag, and it’s not the kind of show where you get to learn heaps about food and dessert, its more like eye candy with desserts you can only drool over.

So, if you get a chance to watch it, let me know what you think.

“Set yourself a vision and chase it, and also be creative. Use your imagination, believe in it, believe in yourself and believe in what you think of and do it.” – Adriano Zumbo