Nidhi touches feet and hearts on Masterchef


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.”


  1. The unfairness of the team challenges where the cooks that stuff up drag everyone into danger continues. Everyone can have a bad day but invariably the ones who cause the group loss escape unharmed.

  2. Sad to see Nidhi go especially when she served a complete dish. It had all the elements she intended to plate on the plate and the only thing missing the “crunch”. Theresa’s dish on the other hand was missing the key sauce element needed to round off her dish and served with a disappointing teaspoon of ice-cream………
    I demand a recount !!

    • My thoughts too, although I agree with the comment below that she was a bit of a one-trick pony. On the other hand, they _do_ keep telling contestants in elimination challenges to play to their strengths – and normally an incomplete dish (especially something as important as the syrup on an otherwise dry poached dessert) would be a guaranteed loss.

      My guess is the producers wanted to milk the brother-sister thing as long as possible…

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