Kirsten Tibballs' surprising confession about joining Dessert Masters

EXCLUSIVE: The 'Chocolate Queen' reveals why she initially turned down the reality show.

Kirsten Tibballs has revealed it took her six months to decide whether or not she should appear on Channel 10’s brand new cooking competition Dessert Masters.

The new series is a spin-off of MasterChef and stars 10 of the country's best pastry chefs as they battle it out to win $100,000 and the title of Australia’s first Dessert Master.

Dessert Masters' Kirsten Tibballs.
Kirsten Tibballs has revealed why she initially said ‘no’ to joining Dessert Masters. Photo: Channel 10

Kirsten, who is an internationally acclaimed pastry chef and chocolatier, tells Yahoo Lifestyle she initially said ‘no’ when she was asked to be a contestant on the show.

“When they contacted me for the first time I thought, ‘Oh wow, this is amazing, such a great concept, maybe they want me to be a judge?’,” she recalls.

“So I went to the meeting and they said, ‘We'd like you to be a contestant’ and I said, 'No way. I'm not doing that’. I said I wouldn't even consider it.”


Kirsten explains that one of the biggest reasons why she turned down the offer was because she assumed the show would have the same judges as MasterChef.

“I said I wouldn't do it if it was going to be the normal judges because I don't think they understand the technique that we're doing enough unless there was someone else there who was the lead on the judging,” she adds.

However, she was soon told that international pastry chef Amaury Guichon, whom she knows quite well, would be joining the franchise as Melissa Leong’s co-star.

“I’d literally just come back from Paris being president of the jury with Amaury judging the World Chocolate Masters,” she shares. “So we were both president, both equal, and I didn't know that he was going to be a judge at the time.

“To be honest, Amaury is a brilliant professional and I know from judging with him that he's very fair and very honest and he understands techniques, so you probably couldn't get a better judge.”

Dessert Masters' Melissa Leong and Amaury Guichon.
‘Amaury is a brilliant professional and I know from judging with him that he's very fair and very honest and he understands techniques.’ Photo: Channel 10

Why Kirsten said 'yes'

Kirsten says it ultimately took her six months to make her decision - within which she made a guest appearance on season 15 of MasterChef - and ultimately said ‘yes’ because she wanted to set a good example for her son.

“Life is crazy, it’s a beautiful thing and I can sit back and watch other people jump in and do it or I can physically make that commitment and jump in and experience this myself,” she remarks.

“I thought, this is going to make me potentially a better person and a better pastry chef to put myself under this sort of pressure, because I might create things and do things that I haven't done before. But also, I think it's a good example for people rather than worrying and just staying where I am.

“I've just published my third book, I've got a successful TV show, I've competed for Australia successfully, I have gold medals in the Pastry Olympics. But that doesn't mean you have to stop trying to better yourself as well.”

Dessert Masters' Kirsten Tibballs.
Kirsten teases that the season will get ‘more stressful’ and viewers will be on the edge of their seat. Photo: Channel 10

'It gets more stressful'

Speaking about what fans can expect on this season of Dessert Masters, Kirsten shares that the competition is only just getting started.

“The challenges do start to get shorter, but the expectation is still that you're going to create something that is dynamic, tastes beautiful, has texture and has flavour.

“I much prefer to do cakes and tarts and things like that rather than plated desserts, but obviously the challenge with that is actually setting it in time so you can actually decorate it and serve it.

“I can tell you I think it gets more stressful. You'll be more on the edge of your seat with what's coming up, there’s just some absolutely sensational desserts.”

Dessert Masters continues Sunday – Tuesday at 7:30pm on Channel 10 and 10 Play

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.

Or if you have a story idea, email us at