Adriano Zumbo

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Adriano Zumbo
Home townCoonamble, New South Wales, Australia

Adriano Zumbo (born 1981) is an Australian pâtissier and chef, known for his challenging desserts on MasterChef Australia.[1][2] He calls himself the "sweet assassin",[3] "Patissier of Pain",[1] "the Dark Lord of the Pastry Kitchen" and "Lord Voldecake".[2][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Adriano Zumbo was born to Italian parents, Frank and Nancy Zumbo from Calabria[3] in 1981[5] and was raised in Coonamble, New South Wales, 164 kilometres (102 mi) northwest of Dubbo.[1][3] Zumbo's parents owned the local IGA supermarket, where he developed a sweet tooth and a keen business sense.[3] His early years were spent in Italy where he learned to appreciate various types of coffee, reflected in the coffee-inspired culinary items found at the various patisseries he owns around Sydney.[3]

After finishing school, Zumbo travelled to Sydney to start his pastry chef apprenticeship in 1997.[3] He worked under renowned culinary icons in Australia and France including Ramon Morato and Pierre Hermé.[3]


Zumbo started his career by supplying homemade tarts, muffins, brownies and banana bread to local cafés in Sydney. He later switched to selling goods to grower's market before opening his first patisserie in Balmain in 2007.[3] As of 2017, Zumbo had ten patisseries in Sydney and Melbourne.[6]

In August 2018, Zumbo's company was placed in voluntary administration, with plans for existing stores continuing to stay open.[7]

Television appearances[edit]

Zumbo appeared on a six-part documentary television series Zumbo, featuring the daily routine of the chef at his Balmain kitchen business, which screened on SBS One in 2011.[8]

Zumbo has appeared on every season of Masterchef,[5] starting with setting a croquembouche challenge in season 1. His fifth appearance in 2010 challenged contestants to recreate his raspberry-beetroot and black olive macaron "tower of terror.".[9][10] Within three days of the episode airing, he had sold 5000 macarons at his Balmain shop, quadruple the normal rate.[9] Zumbo's vanilla V8 cake was featured as a challenge dish in the 2010 season of Masterchef, and has layers of vanilla glaze, crème chantilly, water gel, macaron, brulee, chiffon, syrup, ganache, almond crunch and almond dacquoise.[11] The cake had originally been created in honour of Margaret Fulton's 85th birthday, and was so named for its eight textures of vanilla.[12] In June 2016, the same layered cake was listed as number 8 in Good Food's 2016 top 10 cult desserts in Sydney.[13]

In August 2016, Zumbo co-hosted Seven Network cooking series Zumbo's Just Desserts with Rachel Khoo and Gigi Falanga.[1][14][15]

In the 2018 Netflix series Sugar Rush, hosted by Hunter March, Zumbo is a judge alongside Candace Nelson.[16]


In 2011, Zumbo released his first book, Zumbo Book.[17]

  • Zumbo, Adriano (2011). Zumbo cakes: Adriano Zumbo's fantastical kitchen of other-worldly delights. Murdoch Books (Sydney). ISBN 9781742668659
  • Zumbo, Adriano (2012). Zumbarons: a fantasy land of macarons. Murdoch Books (Crows Nest). ISBN 9781743364017
  • Zumbo, Adriano (2015). The Zumbo files: unlocking the secrets of a master patissier. Murdoch Books (Sydney). ISBN 9781925266504

Personal life[edit]

In 2017, Zumbo and My Kitchen Rules contestant Nelly Riggio began dating.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d Sarah Thomas (22 August 2016). "Adriano Zumbo on Just Desserts, passion and being the Patissier of Pain". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b "50 Shades of Zumbo". Iconic and Vintage. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Pastry Chef Adriano Zumbo sweet talks". Bean Scene.
  4. ^ "Adriano Zumbo — The Dark Lord of the Pastry Kitchen". The Pastry Workshop. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b "From lolly boy to master of the macaron". Good Food. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  6. ^ Thomsen, Simon (5 May 2017). "Pastry wizard Adriano Zumbo is the latest chef with problems involving staff underpayments". Business Insider. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  7. ^ Bolles, Scott (2018-08-01). "Adriano Zumbo's company placed in voluntary administration". Good Food. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  8. ^ "New Adriano Zumbo series on SBS : SBS Food". 16 January 2011. Archived from the original on 16 January 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  9. ^ a b Burns, Mia (12 July 2010). "Macarons a towering success". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  10. ^ "MasterChef's Peter falls in macaron massacre". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2010-07-05. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  11. ^ Quinn, Karl (2010-07-19). "MasterChef recap: Deluded Jimmy wins the day". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  12. ^ Zumbo, Adriano (2011). Zumbo cakes: Adriano Zumbo's fantastical kitchen of other-worldly delights. Sydney: Murdoch Books. ISBN 9781742668659.
  13. ^ Sams, Lauren (2016-06-18). "Sydney's top 10 cult desserts 2016". Good Food. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  14. ^ "Seven gives viewers a taste of new Zumbo's Just Desserts". Bandt. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  15. ^ Thomas, Sarah (17 August 2016). "Adriano Zumbo on Just Desserts, passion and being the Patissier of Pain". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  16. ^ Gooden, Tai. "Say Goodbye To Your Weekend, Netflix's Newest Baking Show Will Have You Hooked". Bustle.
  17. ^ "Adriano Zumbo". Good Food & Wine Show. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012.
  18. ^ "'He's not a homewrecker' MKR's Nelly slams affair rumours with dessert king Adriano Zumbo". The Daily Telegraph. 21 August 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2018.

External links[edit]