Shelina Permalloo

Shelina Author PhotoWe chat to Shelina Permalloo, cookery author and winner of Masterchef 2012 and chat Masterchef, mutton curry and Mauritian street food.

Belated congratulations on your MasterChef victory! What was the most important lesson you’ve brought away with you from the show?

My best lesson I ever learnt from masterchef is always do what you love. I knew I wanted to share Mauritian food so I stuck with the food I loved and it meant I was really and truly passionate about it, when that happens you can taste it in the food!

What have you been up to in the three years since MasterChef?

In the past 3 years I’ve written 2 cook books, cooked at amazing restaurants like Nahm (when it was open) and Benares as well as cooking on Lorraine, this morning, Sunday brunch, Saturday show and food network as well as live cooking events, private dining as well as working alongside amazing brands too. 

What is the concept of The Sunshine Diet?

The Sunshine Diet is my most recent book and it’s a healthier way to cook inspired by my love of world cuisine, if you pack your food with flavour, colour, spice and fresh herbs you can eat better without compromising on taste or flavour. Lose weight and feel great.

You’ve previously expressed a desire to open your own restaurant, if this took place what kind of food would you most like to serve?

My dream is always setting up my own restaurant which is happening next month – Lakaz Maman Mauritian Street Kitchen specialising in mauritian Street food. It literally means “mums house” in creole the language of Mauritius! Follow us on twitter and instagram @lakazmaman

Do you have a favourite or signature dish?

My signature dish is my mutton curry which I served up in the finals of masterchef! It’s delicious packed full of flavour and brought a tear to John’s eye and made gregg make “yummy” noises!

What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?

My ultimate guilty pleasure at the moment is my new dish coming into the restaurant called the yummy coco bun, it’s a coconut bun filled with ice cream, peanuts and a salted caramel sauce…. it’s been great recipe testing for it 🙂

What does a typical day look like for you?

I don’t have any type of typical day but at the moment I’ve been hands on in the restaurant renovation I’m now a dab hand at painting & DIY!

Where do you like to eat and go out in London, any top tips?

I love eating in London, one of my favourite places to eat is lahore karai in tooting lamb chops every time. Barafina in soho and honey & co for dessert!

Your motto for life?

My motto for life….do what you love and keep smiling

Shelina will be speaking as part of the Stanford’s Travel Writers Festival at ‘Destinations: the holiday and travel show’, London Olympia – 4-7. For your chance to win tickets – click here

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