'Food Has No Language': Anushka Thanked Maggie Beer For A Very Special Reason
'MasterChef' contestant Anushka Zargaryan couldn't believe she was about to serve food to one of Australia's most beloved cooks, Maggie Beer.
Anushka put her hand up to be the red team captain for Maggie's 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' challenge and took a moment to describe how she was first introduced to the Barossa Valley legend.
"When I arrived in Australia in 2001, I didn't speak any English at all, Maggie," she explained.
Anushka and her young family emigrated from Armenia nearly two decades ago when her husband found work as an airline engineer in Melbourne.
"The cooking shows were the only ones that I could watch because food has no language," Anushka explained of finding her feet in a foreign country.
"So thank you so much for this opportunity just to say thank you," said Anushka.
Maggie has been a regular on 'MasterChef' throughout the series and co-hosted the ABC's 'The Cook And The Chef' from 2006-2009 with chef Simon Bryant.
The power of cooking shows to cross cultural and language barriers is well documented, with Season 11 contestant Sandeep Pandit explaining to 10 daily last month that Poh Ling Yeow became one of his cooking mentors long before he moved from Bangalore to Australia.
"'MasterChef Australia' and Poh’s Kitchen' are two of the shows that I used to love watching in India," he told us.
"Poh has a very uncomplicated approach to cooking, she’s a chef but she’s not chef-y and that’s what I love about her," Sandeep told us.
Maggie beamed after hearing Anushka's story of watching her on TV when she first arrived in Australia.
"Oh, Anushka that's lovely,'" she said in her familiar, soothing voice.
"I'm so excited just to see her and get advice from her, "Anushka said later on.
"It means everything to me."