Born and raised in Abu Dhabi, twenty-one year old Nikita Gandhi was declared India’s top chef on the popular reality TV show, Masterchef India, and has become the youngest person to do so. After a tough journey of 11 weeks in the competition, she was awarded the winner’s Golden Chef Coat and 10 million Indian rupees.
Below, she talks about her journey in Masterchef and her culinary aspirations.
Congratulations on winning the fourth season of Masterchef India! Clearly, you have a passion for cooking. Who was your inspiration to pursue cooking?
Nikita: My Mother. She inspired me to cook and it was her dream to see me as a Chef. She and my entire family helped me in achieving my goals.
You created some amazing dishes which the judges absolutely loved. But what was your personal favourite?
Nikita: Wintery Tart, which got me the Masterchef apron with my name on it. This dish was the key to the Masterchef Kitchen.
What are your plans for your future, after Masterchef?
Nikita: I plan to attend Culinary School and receive professional training, do internships under many famous chefs and so on, before starting a business. I learnt a lot during the course of Masterchef, but knowledge is never-ending and there is still lot for me to learn.
“Meeting my Mom after so much time, and then realizing that I will be cooking for her, made it the most memorable moment of my journey in Masterchef.”
Masterchef has been a long journey for you, but what has been the moment you would cherish forever?
Nikita: When we came back from Kerala, on entering the Masterchef Kitchen, instead of just seeing the judges, we saw all our mothers standing there! Meeting my Mom after so much time, and then realizing that I will be cooking for her, made it the most memorable moment of Masterchef.
You had lived in Dubai for a long time and it has a special place in your heart. How was it to come back home and perform in your own backyard?
Nikita: In Season 2, Hong Kong had been chosen as an International Location, and I felt lucky because this time, they chose Dubai, my home. On reaching here, I never felt nervous, rather, I felt a sense of comfort, confidence and excitement. I was really glad that all my fellow contestants could meet my entire family.
Masterchef has seen you go through a lot of gruelling tasks. Is there any task you would like to go back to in the kitchen and do again?
Nikita: It would be the First Chocolate Basket/Tokri Task or The Taste of India Task, where I had chosen Cocum and Methai Mate as my core ingredients, and I guess that dish was the only one for which I didn’t receive good comments.
Well, you’ve clearly learnt from your mistakes which has now turned itself into your success. We wish you all the best for all that you aspire to do in your future.
Nikita: Indeed. Thank you.