Tue, 31 Jul, 2018
MasterChef 2018 winner revealed in history making finale
Sashi Cheliah has won MasterChef Australia 2018 with a history-making final score of 93 out of 100.
The 39-year-old father of two from South Australia beat Queensland builder Ben Borsht, who finished with 77 out of 100, in the most one-sided finale in the cooking show’s history.
Sashi said he will use the $250,000 winner’s prize to help start an Indian and South East Asian fusion restaurant.
The prison officer said he also wants to work with ex-prisoners to provide employment opportunities in the food industry.
“MasterChef has been an amazing ride for me — I never thought I would come this far in the competition and to win is icing on the cake,” Sashi said.
“The overwhelming support from my fans and family has made me realise my potential, and it has motivated me to achieve great heights.”
In the first round, Sashi and Ben had 90 minutes to create an entrée and main highlighting a hero ingredient.
Ben planted up an entrée of blue swimmer crab starter with finger limes, coriander and avocado cream and main of deep fried whiting with peas served alongside parsley and garlic emulsion.
Judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan were less than impressed with the results, scoring Ben 20 out of 30 for the starter and 21 out of 30 for his main, totalling 41 out of 60 for the first round.
It was a different story for Sashi whose sambal prawns’ starter and snapper for a fish curry with cumin rice main earned him a perfect 30 out of 30 score for his entrée and a 27 out of 30 mark for his main. His total of 57 out of 60 after the first round meant Ben had a lot of ground to make up.
But the second round the final two contestants were tasked with creating Heston Blumenthal’s terrifying “counting sheep” dessert.
The dessert, which took five and a half hours to make, featured coconut ice cream with a steamed sponge and panna cotta, a lychee, caramel and coriander mousse, and yoghurt powder as well as a series of purees of pistachio, orange flower water and coriander.
Both contestants scored an impressive 36 out of 40 – nine from Heston, Matt, George and Gary.
Ben was awarded $40,000 as runner-up and third-placed contestant Khanh Ong was given $10,000.
Judge Gary praised Sashi’s cooking skills and said he would be a great ambassador for MasterChef Australia.
“Throughout the competition I’ve found such a passion for food, especially seafood and can’t wait to see where this new-found passion leads me,” he said.
“You have proven yourself to be a brilliant cook, a creative thinker, team player, a determined, kind soul with a dream to change your life and forge a new future in food.”