Getting to finals week of MasterChef: The Professionals is a dream come true for Santosh Shah.
The Nepali chef now based in London wowed the judges on his way to making this week’s final six.
Cooking for celebrity chef Andrew Wong in last week’s semis, Santosh impressed with his stunning take on dim sum – his Yomari dumplings from Nepal were stuffed with chocolate, cashew nuts and chilli, topped with orange and cinnamon. Santosh went on to cook a second dish for the judges – crispy chilli chicken, Indo-Chinese style, with crispy lotus roots, seaweed and vegetable pickles, served with hot and sour soup and crispy noodles.
The judges were so impressed that they announced his food was the best dish of the day and sent Santosh straight through to the finals round.
“I always wanted to bring Nepali cuisine to the world stage and this show has given me this opportunity,” Santosh told. “We have to be mentally strong, we are timed, and put under immense pressure. I practice each dish numerous times in advance,” he said.
“Then there is the pressure of the camera and the judges are quite demanding. The competition is getting tighter and more demanding as chefs get eliminated in each round.”