The Untold Truth Of Zumbo's Just Desserts

Netflix's popular show "Zumbo's Just Desserts" stars pastry chef Adriano Zumbo in a series that puts talented home cooks to the test as they compete over a $100,000 prize, which Decider describes as a rollicking riff with creations akin to "Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory." 

According to the outlet, Adriano Zumbo is an Australian pastry chef and cook who honed his skills across Italy, France, and Australia before his career really kicked off in 2010. The mogul has accumulated over 300,000 followers on Instagram and one viewing of his Netflix show makes it easy to see why. "Zumbo's Just Desserts" can inspire anyone with even the hint of a sweet tooth to start cooking, as a world of true imagination and secrets lies ready to be revealed just behind the scenes. Here's what you need to know about this amusing Netflix show.

This was not Zumbo's first foray into reality TV

Adriano Zumbo started his TV career when he appeared on "MasterChef Australia" as a guest judge from 2010 to 2018, and won over audiences when he whipped up a hovering tower of macarons, now dubbed the Zumbaron (via IMDb). People Pill notes that he calls himself silly nicknames like the "Sweet Assassin," "Pâtissier of Pain," "He Who Must Not Be Baked," and more. Zumbo's most notable dish, a featured challenge on "MasterChef," is his signature raspberry-beetroot and black olive macaron "tower of terror," which contains a hearty mix of vanilla glaze, water gel, crème Chantilly, macarons, brûlée, chiffon, ganache, almond crunch, and almond dacquoise.

In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Zumbo credits his "MasterChef" experience with establishing him as an internationally know chef. He now visits other countries and people easily recognize him on the street, making for what the star describes are a slightly bizarre experience.

Desserts that push the limits of home cooks

According to Media Week, the skill it takes to pull off the desserts on the program often transcend what a home baker can do, causing "Zumbo's Just Desserts" to come across as an aspirational baking show. It provides a challenge to home cooks who want to one day compete on the show, and serves as compelling viewing for those content to sit back and watch. The outlet notes that the show emphasizes some seriously strange challenges many bakers would never experience. Viewers witness contestants whip up desserts cooked with fire, so-called 'franken-desserts' which combine two different treats into the one, and some delicacies that even go against gravity.

In a YouTube Q+A, Catherine Zhang describes a dessert she made while participating as a contestant on the show which looked like a barbeque with fake chicken, tomato, corn, potatoes, and more. The elaborate display even included a 1-inch thick recipe book and involved elements of smoke. Brogen Idstein appeared on a similar YouTube Q+A where she discussed a difficult dessert she made featuring a gravity defying cake that broke several times.

Zumbo's Just Desserts wasn't intended for Netflix

Media Week spoke to Adriano Zumbo, who noted that a production company called Seven actually signed him to appear on the show, which they then developed in-house. The chef loved that they gave him free reign to weigh in on the program and share his vision. The chef worked together with producers to get the best results for the desserts, combining Zumbo's knowledge of how a kitchen really works with the know-how of what makes good TV.

In 2018, AFR covered the deal inked between Netflix and Seven West Media, which solidified their status as co-producers of the now-popular show starting with Season 2. They note that Season 1 of "Zumbo's Just Desserts" had already aired on Netflix, as well as some other providers across Canada, New Zealand, the Middle East, and Asia, but Netflix had seen huge success in distributing the series on their platform. Netflix even dubbed the program into a variety of languages thanks to the show's widespread success.

The filming process for the show moves very slowly

According to a Q+A hosted on YouTube by Brogen Idstein, the filming process for "Zumbo's Just Desserts" takes a long time. She notes that a huge number of elements go into making the show, meaning a lot of people have to run around and set everything up. On top of that, the show requires big sets and a wide array of crew members to make the on-screen magic happen. Despite the long hours, the "Zumbo's Just Desserts" cast seems to get along really well. In an interview with Gigi Falanga, Khoollect found that the team easily worked in harmony. The staff and crew complimented each other well with their various styles and personalities, doing their best to make the show a success.

According to Maitland Mercury, the series booked the Maitland Walka Water Works building for filming their external commercial shot during 2016, but a Flickr post shows that the production company also filmed the show in Sydney. Wherever the series took place, you can tell from the intricate sets and challenges it couldn't have been an easy task.

Adriano Zumbo lost money while filming

Despite his television success, Adriano Zumbo's dessert empire and pastry business wasn't doing well. In 2019, Daily Mail spoke with Zumbo regarding the decimation of his food empire following a post by the star himself on Instagram shortly beforehand. The pastry chef explained that his world was falling apart while he starred on the show, making him question his place in the industry.

In August of 2018, sources reported that Adriano's business had entered voluntary administration with debts amassing to about $10 million. The financial collapse became too much for the Zumbo, even forcing him to sell his $1.7 million home, according to AFR. The outlet credits the demise to his failed high tea concept, Fancy Nance, in addition to labor costs and tax issues. Here's hoping Zumbo's future projects and empire can bounce back and continue to grow. We're sure fans would be disappointed if "Zumbo's Just Desserts" was cancelled or the titular host decided to step away from the limelight.