MasterChef's Emelia Jackson reveals why she said 'no' to Dessert Masters

EXCLUSIVE: The season 12 winner spills on why she’s thankful she turned down the spin-off series.

She was known as the ‘Dessert Queen’ during her two stints on MasterChef Australia, so fans were surprised to see that Emelia Jackson wasn’t among the cast of the show’s brand new spin-off series Dessert Masters.

The celebrated chef and cookbook author, who won the show’s twelfth season in 2020, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that she was actually invited to compete on Dessert Masters this year but had to turn it down.

MasterChef winner Emelia Jackson / Dessert Masters judges Melissa Leong and Amaury Guichon.
MasterChef winner Emelia Jackson reveals she was asked to compete on Dessert Masters but had to say no. Photos: Channel 10

“I was asked to be on it and I did say yes and it was all systems go until they told me that filming was starting on my due date of my second [child],” she shares.

However, Emelia admits she’s glad she isn’t a part of this year’s season after seeing the extraordinary cast, which includes Kirsten Tibballs, Adriano Zumbo, and her season 12 co-stars Reynold Poernomo and Jess Liemantara.


“They didn’t really explain the concept, they just said, ‘Are you keen to do this? It’s a dessert one, right up your alley’, and I said, ‘Yep, of course, sign me up’,” she recalls.

“And then when I saw who was on it I was like, thank god I didn’t go on that, I would’ve been smashed to a pulp!

“Zumbo, Reynold, I would’ve just drowned in that crew of people. They are all the best pastry chefs in Australia and I would’ve been there like, ‘I can make a cake!’. I’m not going to beat Kirsten Tibballs, let’s be real.”

The full cast of Dessert Masters season one includes Andy Bowdy, Morgan Hipworth, Jess Liemantara, Rhiann Mead, Reynold Poernomo, Anna Polyviou, Kay-Lene Tan, Kirsten Tibballs, Gareth Whitton and Adriano Zumbo.

Dessert Masters 2023 cast.
Dessert Masters follows 10 of Australia’s best pastry chefs competing for $100,000. Photo: Channel 10

Season two?

Emelia went on to say that she will “100 per cent” be watching the reality show and is hopeful producers will call her up for season two.

“I’ll be wildly jealous the entire time, but I’ll definitely watch,” she remarks. “I’ve finished having babies, they’re all done, I can come in season two.”


Channel 10 announced at their Upfront event last month before season one had even begun airing that Dessert Masters will return for a second season in 2024.

Melissa Leong, who recently stepped back from the main series to prioritise her role on the spin-off, will return as a judge alongside international pastry chef and chocolatier Amaury Guichon.

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