Cooking was a calling for Reynold Poernomo.
As a child he would watch his parents hard at work at their Sydney restaurant, Bali Sunrise, and during his high school years, while his friends were playing sport, Poernomo perfected his chocolate tempering skills.
His parents had other plans for their son, and encouraged him to study at university. He managed one year of a nutrition course before dropping out to help his mother at her home-based "pastry kitchen".
In 2015 his life changed. Poernomo cooked his way to the top 24 on MasterChef Australia, finishing the series in fourth place. He then went on to open KOI Dessert Bar at Chippendale with his mother and brothers, was a finalist in the Gault & Millau Pastry Chef of the Year awards in 2017 and was listed in Forbes Asia's 30 Under 30 that same year.
Poernomo returned to our television screens for MasterChef Australia: Back to Win and stunned viewers with his creations. One imaginative dish offered a culinary interpretation of an idea from Alice in Wonderland, which featured cloud-soft dulce diplomat cream, vanilla caramel, pistachio sponge and lime yogurt foam. When the warm caramel sauce was poured over the dish as the final touch, the base of the dessert melted to reveal a rabbit hole, resembling the concept from the classic story.
Now he has a book to his name. The Dessert Game.
"It's for everyone," he said. "It's not too much information where it can be quite overwhelming, it's a book where I can show readers that it's not impossible to achieve and master intricate desserts."
The book is designed for all levels of cooks, from the home bakers to the professional chefs or even to those who are new to pastry.
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"My favourite recipes are the creme caramel and basque cheesecake; they're just a classic and I can't get bored of them," Poernomo said. "My favourite flavour combination in the book would have to be Moss - it's caramel, pistachio, apple and yogurt with matcha."
Poernomo's love of food was soon refined to desserts.
"Desserts were known as something where 'everything has to be perfect or the recipe will fail' but I wanted to treat the recipes with flexibility and freedom," he said.
"This allowed me to expand my creativity in such an intricate field of food."
Poernomo is busy working on the flagship store for KOI and new venture, Monkey's Corner.
Wheat biscuit base
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