Pakistani Win MasterChef 2017 Award. A Pakistan doctor won the BBC’s Master Chef Title on Friday with a menu of “East meets West” dishes inspired by her country’s traditions.
Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, 29, from Watford, is a junior doctor and mother of one.
Saliha’s love of cooking was influenced by her family and she was also encouraged by a teacher, who, at 15, entered her into the school Chef of the Year competition, which she won.
Pakistani Win MasterChef 2017 Award | Winning Tweet by Saliha
⚡️ “Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed wins Masterchef 2017”https://t.co/06qUIqFV7u
— Saliha Mahmood Ahmed (@salihacooks) May 13, 2017
“I’m from a big Pakistani family and we use food as a way of bringing everyone together,” she said.
“I had very passionate grandmothers who cooked traditional Pakistani food and my mum is also an excellent cook. We love to feed people – it runs in our genes.”
The bravo competed with 64 amateur cooks to take the prize after swapping on-call shifts with her doctor colleagues to make sure she could take part in the game.
Saliha’s winning three-course menu
- Venison shami kebab, with cashew and coriander green chutney, chana dal and a kachumbar salad – in memory of her grandmother’s house in Pakistan
- Kashmiri-style sous-vide duck breast, with crispy duck skin, freekeh wheatgrain, spiced with dried barberries, walnuts and coriander, a cherry chutney and a duck and cherry sauce. The dish was “clean, crisp, refined and beautiful”, according to John Torode
- Saffron rosewater and cardamom panna cotta, served with a deconstructed baklava, including candied pistachios, pistachio honeycomb, filo pastry shards and kumquats – a dessert inspired by her childhood love of baklava
The moment Saliha was crowned MasterChef Champion 2017. 👩🏼🍳🏆
— MasterChef UK 🍴 (@MasterChefUK) May 13, 2017
She fought her way through seven weeks of exhausting culinary tasks to take the top prize.
In her career, she has specialised in gastroenterology but she also dreams of penning down cookbooks and dealing with obesity.
Saliha has a family background of very passionate grandmothers who cooked traditional Pakistani food and her mother was also an outstanding cook. Her family loves to feed people as it’s in their genes.