Catch up with Anurag - one of the finalists of MasterChef 2023



Region: Essex, and originally from India
Age: 41 (40 for most of filming)
Profession: Accountant
Personal: Married with two children

Cooking Background

“I live in the Essex countryside near Basildon with my wife and two young boys, but I originally grew up in India, in a small town very near to Delhi. I previously worked in London, for an insurance company in the City, but since filming MasterChef I have decided to take a break from the corporate life and pursue food as my full-time profession.

“I have been cooking in one form or another from the age of five and my family has been a major influence. In Indian culture, cooking is perceived to be more of a female expertise. But in our house my mother was always very encouraging of my siblings and I to try things we were interested in doing rather than following social constructs. From the very early days of my childhood, I saw my father and elder brother cooking as well, so I think my love for cooking began quite early on.

“After moving to the UK almost 13 years ago, my love for cooking grew and I got more serious and experimental with my style. European cuisine began to fascinate me and I started hosting big lunches and dinners for friends. Being away from India and my family, bringing together friends and food was even more important for me to remain connected with my true self.”

On MasterChef

“I decided to enter MasterChef to express my passion for food and to learn from others. For me food is more than just ingredients, recipes or dishes, it’s an expression of who I am and demonstrates my creativity. I have absolutely loved cooking for John and Gregg . Aside from getting their priceless mentoring during the cooks and their constructive feedback during tastings, the best interaction with them was getting their acknowledgement that my love for food is more than just a hobby. I am certain I want to pursue it as a full time profession.

“I’m absolutely delighted to make it through to the Finals! I see MasterChef as the perfect platform to express my love for cooking and what could be better than getting the opportunity to cook for the British Consul General in Turkey?!”

Cooking influences/ passions

“My dear late mother is my greatest cooking influence and the reason I started cooking. From a wider perspective, Rick Stein tops the list. The simplicity of his cooking and the respect he shows each ingredient makes him my favourite. I also love Jamie Oliver’s books, there is something very honest and humbling about his style of cooking.

“In terms of my food passions, it’s all about the bold flavours, presentation and creating something that not only tastes amazing, but gives you a feeling of happiness. Personally, I like to cook and eat a dish and, after eating it, feel that all my desires are fulfilled. Almost that, if this is my last moment, I won’t regret it! Hosting friends, cooking different cuisines, missing Indian food, and watching endless cookery shows really helped me to discover my passion for cooking.”

Cooking ambitions

“In the long run, my dream is to launch a chain of Indian fine dining restaurants. I would love the food to be very authentically Indian but with a modern presentation. The focus would be on the overall dining experience, together with some flavours and dishes, which would simply be out of this world. In the short run, I want to explore opportunities including cooking related TV shows or events, cookbooks and private dining/supper clubs.”


MasterChef 2023 concludes with episodes on BBC One on Tuesday, 30 May at 9pm; Wednesday, 31 May at 8pm and a grand final on Wednesday, 1 June at 8pm.

Source BBC One

May 30, 2023 3:00am ET by BBC One  


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