Nidhi Mahajan may have left the MasterChef competition last night, but she left an indelible mark on those in the kitchen, and many watching in the audience.
As she departed, the Indian-born amateur chef asked a special request of judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan.
“Can I touch your feet out of respect? This is our culture,” she asked them.
“The people who you think of as teachers, you (bow to) them in respect.”
The custom shows respect to the elder who in turn blesses you with long life, fortune and wisdom. And it was enough to have George Calombaris welling up with tears.
It was a rare moment when Reality TV again highlights diversity in ways that other genres overlook. Nidhi’s inclusion in the series, as she whipped up Indian dishes that impressed the likes of Marco Pierre White, resonated in ways that others such as Reynold Poernomo (2015) and Amina Elshafei (2012) have done.
Nidhi, 30 from South Australia, is planning to launch Nidz Kitchen where she will cater in people’s homes, and would love to have her own home delivery service and one day, a restaurant.
“I loved everything about it, being with so many other people who are passionate about cooking. Marco Pierre White loves my food like anything!” she said.
“This whole experience is something I will be cherishing for (the) whole of my life. It’s a life-changer for me.”