A Bradford woman is to compete in the quarter-finals of a hit BBC One cooking show.
Radha Kaushal-Bolland, who graduated from the University of Huddersfield in 2020 with a degree in law, impressed MasterChef judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode with her vegetarian dishes and is set to compete in the quarter-finals tonight.
Despite gaining qualifications to become a lawyer, Ms Kaushal-Bolland found her passion for cooking during lockdown when she cooked meals for her busy professional parents.
With support from her whole family, the young chef recently became self-employed as a professional private chef under the name the Spicy Flexitarian.
Speaking ahead of the show, Ms Kaushal-Bolland, said: “Although I’ve just finished a law degree, my heart lies in food. I only started cooking during the lockdown as a means to alleviate some of the stress from my final exams at university.
“I haven’t been cooking for very long, but I feel like it comes naturally to me.
“I’ve always been creative, in my music and drama, so cooking allows me to use my transferable skills to show my creative flair for food.”
Her debut dish was a savoury meal of phaldari kofta filled with paneer and cheddar cheese, sultanas, cranberries, served with pea pilau rice, coriander, pomegranate seeds, and a makhani tomato curry sauce with roti on the side.
Describing this meal, Ms Kaushal-Bolland said: “I love this dish, my family love this dish. It was so overwhelming to hear the great feedback from both John Torode and Gregg Wallace.
“I wear my heart on my sleeve and whatever I do, I put my heart and soul into it. WIll all the adrenaline from the feedback I received from my vegetarian dish, it made me cry from joy and happiness.”
For her dessert, she created a pineapple upside-down cake with salted rum caramel sauce, a ginger tuile basket, with ginger ice cream, cinnamon roasted and rum-soaked pineapple pieces which won her a spot in the quarter-finals.
On last night’s episode, the 23-year-old impressed the judges by making a deconstructed apple crumble and chocolate orange guilty pleasure dessert.
The apple crumble was part of the invention test/market challenge where contestants choose ingredients from the MasterChef pantry to create a new dish and the chocolate orange dessert was part of the guilty pleasure round.
The judges were wowed by the flavours of the apple crumble overall but found the dish to be out of balance. Guest Judge William Sitwell voiced that he was not a fan of chocolate orange, but the feature judges congratulated Ms Kaushal-Bolland on her orange sorbet.
Ms Kaushal-Bolland said: “Tonight I am going into the quarter-finals, fighting for a place in the semi-finals. It feels so surreal, I have to keep pinching myself that this is really happening.
“It feels fantastic receiving such fantastic comments from renowned food critic William Sitwell as well as John and Gregg, I’ve already learnt so much from my MasterChef journey and now looking forward to competing for a place in the semi-finals, but I know the competition is going to be tough.”
The newest episode of the show airs tonight on BBC One at 8.30pm where Ms Kaushal-Bolland will compete with three contestants for a space in the semi-finals.