Reynold PoernomoPastry Chef
Owner and Head Pastry Chef, KOI Dessert KOI Kitchen & Monkey’s Corner in Sydney & Les vergers Boiron Brand Ambassador
Reynold Poernomo, who is only 25, was born in Indonesia and came to Australia when he was 4. His parents had seven very popular restaurants in Indonesia, but had to leave because of the country’s crisis and start from scratch. They had to work for long hours as restaurant employees in Australia, and Reynold was often home alone. His interest in cooking began at 14 when he began reading about chefs such as Grant Achatz (Alinea) Francisco Mitoya (Frozen), Ferran Adrià (El Bulli) and Gordon Ramsey. “I loved these books because they weren’t just about food, but told a story of discovery, a world of ingredients, aromas, memories, textures, etc.”
This prompted him to experiment, such as making mango spheres with a technique his mother taught him, laying the foundations for his future style, based on precision, detail, visual effects, texture and color in pastry making, and of course taste. After having participated in MasterChef (which he doesn’t like to harp on), he opened KOI Dessert Bar in 2016 (the name comes from Kids Of Ike, his mother’s name). It’s been a huge success, drawing people from all over the world and he is constantly innovating to create desserts that meet evolving tastes, such as using less sugar and less well-known ingredients. With their flagship, KOI Dessert Bar, Reynold and his brothers have expanded and provide cakes to several outlets. KOI Kitchen, another of their initiatives, offers an intimate dining experience upstairs.
Reynold has also opened Monkey’s Corner, a bar with snacks and cakes, which is what his brother Arnold focuses on. Reynold also runs Masterclasses and continues to experiment to “define my own rules and free my imagination”, still working closely with his mother. They created Nomtella (espresso mousse, salted caramel, brownie and hazelnut), his signature dessert and bestseller. Other delights include strawberry pillow (strawberry and lychee mousse, lychee jelly, almond sable) and mango mousse with yuzu curd. He also makes desserts using with homegrown seasonal edible flowers (some of which he actually grows in his home garden), walnuts, elderflower and citruses.