The Truth About Sugar Rush's Adriano Zumbo

He goes by many nicknames: "Patissier of Pain," "The Dark Lord of the Pastry Kitchen," "Lord Voldecake," and "Sweet Assassin." While he's primarily known in the U.S. for his Netflix shows Zumbo's Just Desserts, Sugar Rush, and Sugar Rush: Christmas, Adriano Zumbo is pastry royalty in his home country of Australia (via TV Over Mind).

Adriano Zumbo was born in New South Wales to Italian parents who owned and operated a grocery store. Zumbo is said to have inherited both his love of food in general and his passion for sweets from being around baked goods, even though his parents had other plans for their son. "They wanted me to stay at school and take over the family business," Zumbo tells Delicious. But opportunity intervened, and Zumbo managed to move to Sydney and work as an apprentice at a cake store.

In all this time, Zumbo had one goal: "In my head, I always wanted to open my own shop, filled with my own creations," he says. Ten years later he began working toward this goal, and after working in kitchens in Europe, including a stint with famed dessert pastry chef Pierre Herme, Zumbo was able to open his first patisserie. His most popular product was his take on the macaron, which he called the Zumbaron.

Adriano Zumbo is also known as Australia's Willy Wonka

Zumbo's pastry star rose even higher when he appeared on MasterChef Australia as a guest judge from 2010 to 2018 (via IMDb). His television appearances didn't just raise his personal profile, it also helped to boost macaron sales at his patisserie. Zumbo says his store sold 5,000 macarons within three days after one episode aired; that number represented four times the normal amount of the classic French pastry sold.

Because he's also known as Australia's Willy Wonka, Zumbo honored the title by having a tattoo of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka done on his forearm. When Gene Wilder passed away, Zumbo paid tribute to the actor on Instagram, saying: "RIP Gene Wilder You created what Dreams are made of ! PURE IMAGINATION"

But while his streaming star has taken off, his restaurant business has floundered, and his companies have had to go into voluntary administration. Whether he can revive his restaurants still remains to be seen (via Smart Company).