A chef who brings ‘…bring[s] sunshine to a plate’ is how Gregg Wallace and John Torode, the judges of Masterchef UK described 2012 winner Shelina Permalloo’s cooking. British-born of Mauritian descent Shelina was inspired to cook by her mum and aunty, developing a love of food at a young age as she helped her Mum with the cooking. Having grown-up in the UK Shelina also credits food with helping her to better understand her Mauritian heritage and culture, saying it makes her feel closer to Mauritius, her heritage and her family. Throughout the competition Shelina brought her Mauritian heritage into her dishes the menu winning menu which comprised octopus for starter, mutton curry for the main and mango cannelloni filled with lime curd for dessert, had the judges proclaiming that ‘they were the best they had ever tasted on the show’, high praise indeed! Winning the title of Masterchef 2012 also meant that Shelina has become only the second women in the show’s eight years to win the title.
[Image credits: top, Sumac Salmon with Coriander Tabouleh;
centre from top left, Mauritian Red Lentil Soup, Saffron and Cumin Rice, and Chicken and Vermicelli Baja;
bottom, Spiced Scones with Coriander Cream Cheese and Mango Relish – Shelina Permalloo]
Shelina entered Masterchef to bring a flavour of Mauritian cooking to the UK, and to share her love of mangoes, an ingredient that appeared in many of her dishes. Mauritius is a cultural melting pot, whose cuisine is full of diverse flavours inspired by Africa, Europe, India and China. Mauritian cooking in the home is usually simple and frugal; nothing is wasted, using spices to turn cooking into incredible dishes packed full of fragrant flavours.mShelina’s cooking is also inspired by her Italian husband, who has helped her understand European food and preparation. Shelina applied for Masterchef in April 2011, but before she got the call had already made a personal decision to leave work and pursue her passion in the food industry. The dream is to open her own restaurant, but in the meantime if you want to try your hand at Mauritian cooking check out Shelina’s website where she shares some of her mouthwatering recipes.
…it all looks so delicious and heartwarming
To find out more about Shelina Permalloo and to see her recipes visit: http://shelinapermalloo.com