Former elite STAR Team officer from the Singapore Police, Sashi Cheliah was recently crowned winner of the global-phenomenon that is MasterChef Australia! Sashi is the first Singaporean-born to ever win the title, which is a moment of pride for all Singaporeans.
The 39-year old prison officer scored a history-making 93 out of 100 to beat Queensland builder Ben Borsht who finished with 77 out of 100. Sashi smashed it out of the park in the first round with his sambal prawns appetizer and fish curry main which earned him a 16 point lead that was too much for Borsht to catch up, thus securing Sashi the title. The prawn sambal Sashi presented was so loved by all three judges that he scored straight 10s, giving him a total of 30/30.
Sashi has been a consistently strong cook right off the bat, presenting balanced and flavourful dishes inspired by his heritage throughout the season. His audition dish was proclaimed to be the 'best Indian food' that judge George Calombaris had eaten and his following Indian, Malaysian, and Singaporean dishes earned him many victories in various challenges.
Not only is Sashi a strong cook with a talent for spices (earning him the nickname 'the spice king' in the show), he is also able to create delicious Western food as well, proving that his knack for balancing flavours extends beyond his heritage. Besides being able to cook, Sashi is also a great team player and a kind soul as is evident when you're watching the team challenge episodes.
Sashi served as a police offer in Singapore for 12 years before migrating to Adelaide six years ago where he resides with his wife and two adorable sons. According to an Australian news report, Sashi plans to use his winnings of AUD250,000 to open up an Indian and South East Asian fusion restaurant. Sashi also wants to help provide employment opportunities for ex-prisoners in the food industry.
MasterChef is one of the biggest food reality shows on television, not just in Australia but around the world. Sashi joins the ranks of the brilliant winners before him, adding yet another Southeast Asian flavour to the table. Previous winners from the region include Malaysian-born Diana Chan and anglo-Singaporean Adam Liaw.