'I've Never Taken Risks': Why Walleed Took The 'MasterChef' Leap
He has left the 'MasterChef' kitchen, but it won't be an experience Walleed Rasheed will forget any time soon.
Speaking to 10 daily after his elimination, Walleed explained why applying to the show marked a significant turning point in his life.
"To go into 'MasterChef' wasn’t something I would have even thought of doing five years ago," the marketing analyst told us.
"I’ve always lived a life where I’ve never, ever taken risks but I knew that I loved to cook and feed my family and friends."
Walleed added he's "always lived a life of security", but knew he had a burning passion for food bubbling away under the surface.
"I knew where I am now in the corporate world, it’s not where my passion is," he told 10 daily.
Walleed began satisfying his craving to work in the food industry three years ago when he started up a small sweets company selling baklava, a beloved dessert found across Greece, Turkey and the Middle East.
"I knew that food gave me that joy, so I started up a business -- the Fresh Prince of Baklava -- about three years ago," said Walleed.
"My outlet was to go and sell baklava in weekly markets. That was my first hit, I could go out and sell my food and please other people with the food that I make."
"And I think, on the back of that, I knew that this is where I wanted to go," Walleed said of his decision to apply to 'MasterChef'.
Throughout the competition, Walleed became known as the quiet achiever, serving up dishes that wowed the judges -- like his baklava cones with roasted pistachio ice-cream, and his hearty okra and beef mince stew.
Fans on social media were often crying out to see more of Walleed on camera -- something the amateur cook noticed with amusement.
"There was a hashtag that I saw [online], #Where’sWalleed, " he laughed.
"And I’m thinking, ‘I’m right here!'" he said of his modest presence on 'MasterChef'.
Walleed left the competition after landing in the bottom three with Nicole and Christina, in a challenge that involved selecting proteins and veg from underneath mystery cloches.
Unfortunately, his combo of venison and artichoke leaves failed to impress the judges -- but he was eliminated for all of 30 seconds, before finding out he'd be able to try and win his spot back along with 12 former contestants.
Walleed went out with a bang for his final ever cook in the 'MasterChef' kitchen, serving up a delectable baklava sandwich with fig and pistachio -- but it wasn't enough, and it was ultimately Tim Bone who won back his spot in the comp.
Although sad to leave behind his 'MasterChef' family, Walleed gets to head back to his real family, including his five-year-old twin daughters.
"It was really, really hard being away from them," Walleed said.
"I think I’ve only been away from my kids for maybe two or three days so to be away was really hard. I mean, my other family in the house really supported me and kept me going."
But his time in the 'MasterChef' has been an experience which has propelled Walleed closer to his food dream of opening a Middle Eastern dessert bar.
"I loved every single minute of it, I don’t regret anything," he said.
We're going to miss you, Walleed!