MasterChef Australia Crowns Its Season 10 Winner
Click through for spoilers!
After a breathtaking race to the final, MasterChef Australia has crowned its Season 10 champion, and it's none other than Sashi Cheliah!
In a nail-biting finish, both Sashi and runner-up Ben Borsht scored the same points in the second round, but Sashi's incredible first round meant his lead of 16 points scored him a whopping 93 out of 100.
"From day one to the finale... it was a crazy ride," Sashi told ten daily.
"From the first round I had a very good lead, then going into the second round... it was a really tough pressure test."
That 'tough pressure test' was only a Heston Blumenthal creation.
"He came up with the whole idea of the dish just from the idea of talcum powder," Sashi told us, adding "it took him almost nine months to create".
The dish, called 'Counting Sheep', was a light meringue with ice-cream on a floating pillow. Basically, it was one of those ridiculously intense Heston creations we've come to know and love.
With 19 elements, more than 80 ingredients and "what felt like 100 steps", the dish tested the many, many techniques both Sashi and Ben had picked up over the course of the competition.
"The dessert is beautiful," Sashi told us, "I couldn't even figure out what exactly it was until I started tasting the dish".
While his first Heston recipe resulted in a recipe that went up in flames, this cook had speed bumps of its own, with both Ben and Sashi making mistakes in their cooks.
Ben accidentally added xantham gum -- a thickening agent -- to his first ice cream, forcing him to repeat the step. Meanwhile, Sashi forgot to insert his frozen gel into his mousse, which meant he had to take a gamble, letting his mousse thaw before inserting the gels.
Despite their stumbles, both Ben and Sashi wowed the judges and Heston in the way they were able to overcome their mistakes.
After their final scores were announced Ben said, "I’ve had such an amazing experience... I’ll remember it for the rest of my life. 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".
A fierce competitor throughout the season, Sashi was the first ever to win TWO immunity pins in MasterChef Australia history.
"My confidence definitely grew in the competition, especially when I started putting out winning dishes, getting the double pins," he said. "Plus the advice from the judges and the fellow contestants. Everyone helps each other out. We became like one big family."
Family is something Sashi has been passionate about all through the season, often speaking about his biggest motivator in MasterChef: his sons.
"The boys are very proud of me," he said of his win. "They're inspired by what I've done in the competition, and I'm glad that I've been able to show them what you can achieve if you put your heart and soul into something".
While he plans to continue working in the food industry, Sashi said his immediate plans are a little closer to home.
"Right now, I'm just enjoying time with my family."