It’s a sweet life for chocolatier Kirsten Tibballs

It’s a sweet life for chocolatier Kirsten Tibballs

In a tete-a-tete with guest judge on Masterchef Australia Kirsten Tibballs, the pastry chef and chocolatier

Known for her pastry and chocolatier skills, Kirsten Tibballs took over the culinary world in a grand way. She’s represented Australia at world championships, started a chocolate and patisserie school and authored two cookbooks.

She’s often referred to as the ‘Queen of Chocolate’, thanks to her contribution to the industry. No wonder is the female pastry chef on Instagram who has the most number of follows. You’ll soon see her as a guest judge on Masterchef Australia which will premier on September 10 and will on weekdays at 9 pm.

Tibballs shared stories of her ‘sweet’ life to Anila Kurian.

Are you a fan of Indian food? 

Yes, absolutely! One of my favourites is Aloo Gobi. I love the delectable combination of potatoes and peas (laughs).

Since you are a dessert expert, what’s the hardest, yet simplest part of making a dessert that one often messes up?

I’d say whipping up a meringue. Making a meringue ought to be really simple — just whipping it up — but it’s also where a lot of people do tend to go wrong. 

Is there a dessert that you like making but not eating? 

Oh, no! (laughs) I don’t dislike eating anything, but I’m not into making the same thing twice. I always want to try new flavours, ideas and combinations. A classic one is a chocolate dessert paired with fruit to cut through the richness of the chocolate. It just creates the right balance, you know?

What three things do you consider to be your strengths and weakness?

Well, I’m really passionate. I have a real hunger for learning and creating new concepts and products. I think my biggest weakness is creamy pasta and Thai food (laughs).

What’s your playlist like when you’re working in the kitchen?

Ooh, what an interesting question! I might sound like a complete teenager but I listen to Daft Punk a lot, it brings that energy into the kitchen. 

Do you have a favourite dessert? 

Chocolate cake with gooey liquid chocolate in the middle and vanilla ice-cream on the side. I know it sounds really simple, but I love the flavours!

Who is the chef you idolise the most? 

So many chefs! Mostly though, it’s the other chef who works here at the school with me. Paul Kennedy and I fire ideas off each other. He even prepared a chocolate sculpture for my wedding.

How and when did you decide this was your calling?

I started cooking at the age of 8 and I was really unwell at the time, so I skipped out on high school and began my pastry apprenticeship at the age of 15.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be today?

I’d be a photographer. Not that I’m very good at it right now, but I’d probably take up some classes and pursue this more seriously.