Representing Bradford’s culinary talent, Radha Kaushal-Bolland is set to compete in tonight’s episode of BBC One’s hit cooking competition TV show, MasterChef.
Graduating from the University of Huddersfield with a degree in Law in 2020, Chef Radha Ru, or the Spicy Flexitarian as she is often known, impressed judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace, and former MasterChef champions Steven Wallis, Kenny Tutt and Thomasina Miers, in the quarter-finals on Friday to secure her spot in the semi-finals tonight.
The 23-year-old found her passion for cooking during the first lockdown in 2020 when she moved back to her parent’s home in Bradford to finish the last couple of months of her degree.
She took to the kitchen as a way to express her creativity when restricted indoors and as a method of relieving the stress and pressure of her final exams.
Her mum, a lead operational pharmacist at NHS 111 Yorkshire Ambulance Service, and her dad, head of operations at the University of Bradford, had a lot on their plates at the beginning of quarantine in 2020, which is when the private chef began cooking for them every evening.
A vegetarian, Ms Kaushal-Bolland has impressed the judges so far with traditional meat-free Indian dishes with a western twist based on her dual heritage.
For her first course in the quarter-finals, the chef prepared Aloo Tiki served with a tamarind drizzle, mint and coriander chutney, sweet yoghurt and crispy chickpeas.
For the main course, Chef Radha served lentil dhaal, the first dish Radha’s mum taught her to cook, with rice and topped with tempura-battered okra. Accompanying the dish was bhatura bread and cucumber raita.
Walking into semi finals week…
Will I look as calm and relaxed as I do here? 🤔Watch @MasterChefUK on @BBCOne TONIGHT at 8pm to see if the smile on my face continues or if the pressure in the #MasterChefUK kitchen gets too much 🔥 #masterchefuk #masterchef #masterchef2022 pic.twitter.com/wiDoNBPvDv
— Chef Rü (Radha) | The Spicy Flexitarian (@thespicyflex) April 26, 2022
Speaking about her progression into the semi-final, Ms Kaushal-Bolland said: “At the start of my MasterChef journey I set a goal of securing an apron and I did that. I then made it through to the quarter-finals and now I’m cooking in the MasterChef semi-finals.
“I honestly cannot believe it, everything I’m doing, I’m doing it with a huge smile on my face because I am so fortunate and lucky to have the opportunity to showcase vegetarian and plant-based food.
“I have seen a growth in my cooking journey but also in my self-belief and I’m so excited for my journey to continue.”
The first section of the semi-final will see the 10 remaining hopefuls given their first taste of what it’s like to work in a restaurant setting, whilst being tested on teamwork.
Should Ms Kaushal-Bolland manage to progress to the next episode, she will face the daunting Invention Test, with the last semi-final show seeing contestants making music-inspired dishes.
The semi-finals of MasterChef air on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday on BBC One at 8pm and is available for catch-up on Iplayer.