MasterChef's Walleed Rasheed Is The Fresh Prince Of Baklava
Walleed filled us in on his delicious pastry project.
After leaving the 'MasterChef' kitchen this week, Walleed has been able to get back to the passion project that launched his food journey -- his homemade baklava company.
The dessert whiz told 10 daily that he developed his love of the flaky pastry treat, and food in general, from a young age.
"I grew up in an Egyptian family so we ate a lot of Middle Eastern food, food is in our blood. When we feed people, it’s a massive feast, even if it's for one or two," he explained.
Walleed said that when his aunties, uncles and family friends would come over, he was put in charge of making beverages for everyone.
"I reckon I was about maybe six or seven, I used to always make the tea or coffee for the adults. I would make it so good that everyone would say, ‘this is unbelievable!’" he told 10 daily.
"I don’t know, I just felt that satisfaction, even from an early age, I loved it!" Walleed said of his knack for hospitality.
Baklava was a firm favourite in the Rasheed household -- but young Walleed wasn't exactly satisfied with the traditional recipe that usually includes crumbled walnuts or pistachios.
"What I used to do as a kid, there were always nuts in it and I didn’t really like the nuts," Walleed said.
"So I used to take them off and put like, an Oreo biscuit or Nutella on top instead," he said of his genius invention.
"And I’d think, ‘this is so much better’.
"And that’s what my business is now, it’s baklava with a bit of a twist," he proudly said.
Walleed's Fresh Prince of Baklava creations combines traditional Arab sweets with generous additions of Nutella, Snickers bars, Oreos and Twix.
"It’s my Middle Eastern upbringing plus my childhood infusions and that’s where the Fresh Prince of Baklava came from.
"And it’s my favourite show, 'The Fresh Prince'!" Walleed laughed.
The dessert stall pops up once a month at Melbourne's Kensington market but Walleed is hoping to expand to South Melbourne and Queen Vic markets -- and eventually, open a brick and mortar dessert bar.