Be a master. But don’t be tooooo masterful.
It’s a competition for amateur cooks, and MasterChef has already booted off one finalist whom, it emerged, had five months experience in a professional kitchen.
So, viewers are asking, how is it that 20-year-old Reynold Poernomo, whose brother is actually a judge on the Indonesian version of the show and whose mother owns Sydney patisserie Artplate, is still standing?
Mario Montecullo, 38, was given his marching orders last week after producers found he’d worked as “head chef” in the kitchen of his Sydney bar – even though the venue only serves snacks.
Pastry chef’s son Poermono has told producers that his mother never allowed him to cook in her patisserie because she believed being a chef would be too hard.
He has only been allowed to work as a kitchen hand and delivery driver for Artplate, he said.
On Sunday, Poernomo turned out a totally insane Heston-Blumenthal-style dessert that knocked the socks off the judges.
Called Forbidden Fruit, it was an “apple” made of frozen chocolate mousse dipped in ganache and red cocoa butter and sitting on a bed of chocolate and almond “soil”.
The judges were stunned by its gorgeousness and presumably, its flavour.
“Week two, not finals week and you’re putting up food like this. Unbelievable. Unbelievable,” gushed Matt Preston, his cravat all aquiver.
But some fans reckon Reynold’s more than a baking wunderkind.
“Why is this guy allowed to work professionally for his parents’ place, but the bloke from Enmore is kicked off? Just curious, seems strange to me,” reads one Facebook comment.
The producers of the show say they’ve always been aware of Poernomo’s experience and that he meets the criteria as an amateur cook. He is “100 per cent eligible to take part in the competition” reads a statement released by Shine and Channel 10.
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