Masterchef India Season 5 Contestants

MasterChef India is not just a cooking show, it is a revolution that started from the most humble homes and has made cooking fashionable and cooks as hero's. The stories of the home cooks are most inspiring and I am in awe of the commitment and talent they get on the show. Here is my humble effort to pen down my thoughts on them and their cooking watching them cook in MasterChef India Kitchen. MasterChef India airs on Star Plus every Sat-Sun, 8pm. (Pic Courtesy Star Plus)

Ajay Kumar 
City: Bangalore Age: 23yrs Profession: Student
Food Dream: Chef Restauranteur
He is a very bright and enthusiastic boy of 23 years from Bangalore. As a person I feel he is very sweet, honest and respecting boy eager to learn. He is a bit shy but definately does not shy away from taking risks in the kitchen. Ajay as put everything on hold in his life and has come to Masterchef kitchen to pursue his food dream. I see the determination and the will in him that takes to be the MasterChef winner.



Syed Sadaf Hussein
City: Delhi Age: 27 yrs Profession: Social Sector
Food Dream: Chef/Owner of a Food Truck

Young, dynamic and very warm at heart this handsome boy is destined to be heartthrob chef very soon. He is a social worker and spends much on his time helping others. His passion for cooking and his dream to have his own food truck will realise sooner than he thinks. One thing that you can’t beat sadaf at is his strong will and a very happy go lucky attitude. He takes on life as the day unfolds and has constantly been improving his cooking skill as each day passes.


Shreelaxmi Niranjan Prabhu
City: Kochi Age: 37 yrs Profession: HomeMaker
Food Dream: Chef Restauranteur

With a full support from her husband, Srilaxmi with strong determination came to MasterChef Kitchen. She is the true reflection of a modern Indian house wife who loves to take care of family needs and has a keen aspiration to inspire everyone in her family to never give up on your dreams. She is gifted with good taste and understanding of flavours in her hands. Truly blessed to have her in the kitchen. Don't under estimate her skill as it is as fine as her silk sarees that she carries beautifully.


Siddharth Talwar
City: New Delhi Age: 47 yrs Profession: Vice President of Eurasian Mineral & Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.
Food Dream: To have his restaurant

Sid is an accomplished professional, a wonderful father and an amazing home cook. He has had some tough times in life and has always emerged as a winner. Its rather funny to notice that in the Masterchef kitchen he is one who puts himself in tremendous pressure by almost every time landing himself in elimination zone and all of a sudden gives his best and redeems himself out. He is one guy who will never give into pressure come what may. He is helpful and very cheerful in the kitchen. He wants to win the title of MasterChef and impress his 7year old daughter. Now that’s what I call a true hero.

Shipra Chenji
City: Hyderabad Age: 45 yrs Profession: Interior Designer
Food Dream: CookBook Writer

Some people need to be just there around you to give you positivity and inspire you to be better at what you do, that is who Shipra is. A very graceful and a very pretty mom of 4 young boys, this lady loves yoga & bikes and yes one of the places you will definately find her is her home kitchen. She is gifted with great taste in her hands. Handles pressure extremely well and as a natural knack at mixing flavours. I still remember her as one of the best home cooks in Masterchef kitchen the day she replicated my challenge with “Ghewar in a Chocolate Flower”. She is focused and very fast in the kitchen. Her discipline in life that she carries in the kitchen is infectious and I wish I could be more like her.

Samantha Barrett
: Dehradun Age: 27 yrs Profession: Owns a Cafe
Food Dream: To be a Chef

Samantha is a very chirpy and strong girl and no one can shake her determination once she has made up her mind. I have seen her closely and she is one home cook who keeps her head low and works on her dishes till the time she gets perfection in them. She can cook and charm at the same time. Very bright and vibrant her style of food is bold and colourful much like her personality. She has a perfect sense of cooking sweet & savoury. Her strong will is going to take her places.


Rohini Chawala
City: Gurgaon Age: 37 yrs Profession: HomeMaker
Food Dream: A Food Trucker

Rohini is a peoples person and very helpful and kind at heart. She is in the kitchen to give a tough competition to all owing to her exposure to various cuisines during her stay in America. She is speaks less and lets her food speak for her. Her understanding of food has depth and works magic with the taste everytime she cooks. I still cant help but smile everytime I remember her telling me that she plans to cook in a food truck that would be driven by her husband. Winning this title or not she will get to her food dream.


Pradip Bhwalkar
City: Pune Age: 69 yrs Profession: Retired
Food Dream: Create Signatures dishes

Pradip ji is an unstoppable force of strong mind, body and will. He is the father figure in the kitchen and he brings love, will power and commitment to the kitchen. Not just the home cooks but all the judges are in awe of him. He is a 69 year old man but still has a child like charm and seeks out to learn and improve his cooking. Blessed with a golden hand in cooking he is eager to leave all behind and win the title of Masterchef. He is a strong player, extremely resourceful and very helpful in team tasks. If there is anyone I want to be when I am his age its him. Thanks Pradip ji for gracing our kitchen.

Mirvaan Vinayak
City: New Delhi Age: 19 yrs Profession: Student of Theatre
Food Dream: To be a Chef

Here comes the brat who will charm anyone with his slightest hint of infectious smile. He is young, dynamic, extremely focused, very expressive and a fun boy. A natural at theatre and equally good with his food this boy is about to write the most passionate chapter of his life in the Masterchef kitchen. I see a bit of me in him when I was his age. He is the risk taker and very experimental with his food. One dish that I will always remember him for is his Egg Yolk Ravioli. If he is missing in the kitchen the lights seem dim, he is the ball of energy that we all need to see every time we get into the kitchen.

Kirti Bhoutika
City: Kolkatta Age: 20 yrs Profession: Nutritionist & Baker
Food Dream: To own a Baker Institute

Kirti is a focused young girl who knows what she wants and how to get it. She is not a dreamer but a go getter. Coming from a big family where they celebrate girls in the family she is determined to make it big in life. A nutritionist by qualification and a cook at heart she fell in love with Bakery and Pastry. Her small business of making gourmet cakes and desserts is an inspiring story. I have to admit I was not as bold as her in determination at 20. Her cake shop Super Plum Cakery is a first step to a bigger plan in life. Cheers girl go get what you want.

Jatin Khurana
: Ludhiana Age: 24 yrs Profession: Businessman
Food Dream: Chef Restauranteur

This calm and handsome boy surprises us all each time he comes to cook in the kitchen. “Doston ka Dost” as he is, he has a strong clarity of thought on flavours of food. He is emotional about food and it makes him special. At one time he was overweight and with great discipline he reduced much like what I did. He is clear at what he wants and inshallah he would get it soon.


Dinesh Patel
City: London Age: 21 yrs Profession: Lawyer
Food Dream: Artisanal Fusion Patissier

Dinesh is a charming young boy who is quite sublime in his approach towards kitchen. A very well mannered and very respecting Dinesh speaks his mind. His first love in the kitchen is desserts. He is most loved in the kitchen and is quite feared when he rolls up his sleeves to cook. This boy is talented and on most occasions he has surprised with his finesse with smart plating and intelligent food concepts. This Gujarati is on a roll and watch him cook is a delight.


Ashwin Iyer
: Bangalore Age: 37 yrs Profession: Food Stylist & Photographer/Model
Food Dream: Chef Consultant

Ashwin is stylish and bold in his dressing and same flows in his food. He is the adventurous type who lives life on his own terms. I found him extremely affable to talk to and his passion of cooking with his love for photography is a deadly combination. He has travelled extensively and with each travel he has picked his inspiration from the designs and colours and brings them to the cooking table.



Ashima Arora
: Amritsar Age: 24 yrs Profession: Home Baker
Food Dream: Chef/Owner Dessert Bar

Ashima is generally very quite which is a big contrast to where she is from (Amritsar). A true Punjabi she is naturally good with savoury but her heart is in baking. This cute daddy’s little princess blew us away with her plating style, use of ingredients and incredible ice creams and cakes. This cute little girl never fails to smile and takes her cooking very seriously. She has no difficulty concentrating on the task at hand esp when it a very pressurising task. The only mistake one can do is to take her cooking lightly, she knows her way up.



Anagha Godbole
City: California, SFO Age: 44 yrs Profession: Sr. Manager PayPal
Food Dream: Chef/Owner Boutique Restaurant

Anagha from day 1 made it clear though her cooking that she is here to win. She is as pretty as fierce she is when it comes to cook. One of the toughest competition to all in Masterchef and yet has a very big heart. She loves to dance and cook. She has a big heart and everyone on the show loves her. I love the spirit with which she cooks and knows how to make any dish taste better. Her clarity on mixing ingredients is chef like. I wish her all the luck for getting to her food dream.

Abhilasha Chandok
City: Purulia, West Bengal Age: 29 yrs Profession: Home Maker
Food Dream: Food Writer

Every once a while God has his own ways of testing us. He is testing Abhilasha and I am sure she will overcome all hurdles in life to be a winner. She knows what it takes to make it to the top. All her life she has been a academic performer and perfects anything she puts her mind into. She is aggressive with her cooking and her food is out of the ordinary. Food for her is her wonderland and can spend hours in the kitchen. She is unique with her cooking skills and it is an honour to know her and taste food which she cooks.