Reynold’s emotional moment. Picture: Channel 10.
Reynold’s emotional moment. Picture: Channel 10.

Reynold breaks down in emotional challenge

There's not a dry eye in the house during tonight's Mystery Box challenge - even from the contestants you'd least expect to pour their hearts out on television.

Usually closely-guarded dessert king Reynold Poernomo breaks down in tears during the nostalgia-fuelled cook while recalling an emotional time in his childhood.

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Known as the most cool, calm and collected contestant this season, the 26-year-old with a knack for intricate desserts was overcome with emotion during filming when he lifted the mystery box lid to unveil an adorable photo of him as a boy in his parent's old restaurant.

Reynold described the childhood snap as: 'Me with a little bowl cut'. Picture: Channel 10.
Reynold described the childhood snap as: 'Me with a little bowl cut'. Picture: Channel 10.

When asked what the photo meant to him by judge Melissa Leong, Reynold's recollection was twinged with pain as he described visiting his hardworking parents at their former restaurant in Indonesia, Bali Sunrise, where he would spend most days after school.

"A long time ago my parents had a restaurant together. I remember going after school, and people would think that I'd be learning so much from my mum or my dad, but actually they'd be working so hard in the restaurant," he said, his voice quavering.

The dessert superstar was overcome with emotion. Picture: Channel 10.
The dessert superstar was overcome with emotion. Picture: Channel 10.


"During those times were quite tough," he said as his eyes began to glisten.

"I remember during immigration having my parents taken away for a little bit. The restaurant closed down of course, my brother was getting food for me when I was hungry.

"Pretty much every time I got home from school …," he said, pausing to wipe his tears.

"It was the only time I had time with my parents, watching them work."

Reynold reflecting on his upbringing had the whole room in tears. Picture: Channel 10.
Reynold reflecting on his upbringing had the whole room in tears. Picture: Channel 10.

During the heartfelt moment, fellow contestants looked on with tears in their eyes, with even Jock Zonfrillo looking misty as Reynold wept.

"No doubt that is where you get your commitment and your drive from," judge Melissa, also in tears, said to the frontrunner.

"You're going to make me emotional too!" she joked, adding: "I'm sure your parents are very proud of you."

The judges’ eyes welled as Reynold reflected on his childhood. Picture: Channel 10.
The judges’ eyes welled as Reynold reflected on his childhood. Picture: Channel 10.

Reynold and his family left Indonesia for Australia due to unrest in the country when the star chef was just four. His parents owned seven popular restaurants before they moved.

Now, the 26-year-old runs Sydney's KOI Dessert Bar, Monkey's Corner cocktail bar in Chippendale and pop-up bakery TiNi Artisan Bakehouse with his brothers.

In 2017, Reynold was recognised by Forbes Asia in their annual 30 Under 30 list.

He first appeared on MasterChef in 2015, coming in fourth in season 7.

MasterChef: All Stars continues tonight from 7.30 on Ten.

Originally published as Reynold breaks down in emotional challenge

Reynold in tears during emotional mystery box
Reynold in tears during emotional mystery box


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