10/05/2020 7:09 PM AEST | Updated 02/07/2020 1:11 PM AEST

MasterChef Australia: How Reynold Poernomo And Poh Ling Yeow Set Themselves Apart From Co-Stars

"You’re either a frantic person like Poh or a robot like Reynold."

With contestants returning from previous seasons, the stakes are higher on ‘MasterChef Australia’ this year. Each star has been perfecting cooking skills since the first TV appearance, and while they all have their unique flair in the kitchen, there can only be one winner at the end. 

Derek Lau from last year’s season has opened up about the strengths of two big players in the competition, Reynold Poernomo and Poh Ling Yeow

According to Derek, dessert king Reynold’s culinary techniques combined with his drive and ambition are what help him impress the judges.

Channel 10
'MasterChef Australia: Back To Win' contestant Reynold Poernomo

“Everyone cooks differently, look at Reynold. There was a joke the other day that he’s like a bit of a robot,” said Derek. “And that’s because he cooks differently.

“He is very methodical and that’s why he’s the successful owner of a number of restaurants… He’s a confident guy, you don’t run restaurants if you’re not a confident guy.” 

On the other hand, Poh is the “quintessential cook” according to Derek.

“MasterChef is about home cooking so if you want to home cook, there’s nobody more suitable for that type of role than Poh.”

Channel 10
'MasterChef Australia: Back To Win' contestant Poh Ling Yeow

Elimination and immunity rounds often put the contestants through their paces, with time restraints and limited ingredients making each star react differently. 

“You never do a cooking demo and there won’t be issues that happen,” explained Derek. “With the first cooking demo I did, I burnt the bottom of a pancake and I’m meant to be the guy that’s demonstrating this.

“When you’re in different environments, shit happens and you just are the type of person that you are. You’re either a frantic person like Poh or a robot like Reynold.” 

On ‘MasterChef Australia: Back To Win’ this year, Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo have replaced former judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston.

There are 24 previous contestants including Poh Ling Yeow, Hayden Quinn, Reynold Poernomo and Callum Hann who have returned to the series for another shot at victory.