‘Too Much Time Can Work Against You’: MasterChef Kitchen In Shock As Sashi Cheliah Is Eliminated

During an all-in elimination, nobody expected the season 10 winner, Sashi, to be the next chef sent home.

Cooking across two rounds, the returning Faves found themselves battling for their spots in the competition, challenged with an overnight cook. For Sashi, it was the final moments in the challenge that sealed his fate as he plated up his overnight fish curry, dosa, coconut chutney and peanut and coriander chutney.

“I made a wrong choice,” Sashi told 10 play following his elimination, adding that it wasn’t so much the dish but his focus. While he attempted to make his dosas, Sashi’s attention shifted from his fish curry, which caught and burned at the bottom.

“I did not realise, it was a surprise for me,” Sashi admitted. “I put the fish in the curry sauce about six or seven minutes before plating up and then put the dosas together with it.

“One thing I failed to realise was the flame was pretty high, so the fish was cooked perfectly but the bottom bit of the pot got a bit burned and that flavour has been infused throughout in the curry. I didn’t realise until the verdict was given.”

Standing in the bottom two, when the judges announced that Sashi would be leaving everyone’s jaws dropped. Everyone except Sashi.

“Funny thing was, I was pretty chill about the elimination, I was going around consoling everyone like ‘Don’t cry, don’t cry,’” he said, laughing.

“When you cook, you know whether it’s a good cook or a bad cook. If something happens, I know it’s my fault, nothing else to blame.”

It was a rare opportunity for the contestants in the MasterChef kitchen, to have an entire evening to develop flavour, marinate or slow cook their dish for many of the Faves, they were extremely excited to tackle the new challenge.

“To be frank, I wasn’t,” Sashi said, laughing. “I'm not a person who likes long cooking. Anything more than 90 minutes, I'm not interested in doing the dish, that's me… For the MasterChef kitchen, I prefer quick, simple, flavourful dishes I can whip up to wow the judges. When you have too much time, sometimes it can work against you.”

While almost every single person in the kitchen was shocked by the news that Sashi would be leaving, he knew after the cook that his dish would land him in the bottom.

“You feel it when you're cooking,” he explained, “when you are having that much of a struggle in the cook you will have that. I’ve done this for a long time, so I know whether it was a good cook or a bad cook.

“I know that wasn’t my day, but I didn’t expect my fish curry to be the one sending me home, I thought my dosa would be sending me home!”

Despite the early departure for the Fave, Sashi was thrilled to have been back in the MasterChef kitchen, feeling like it was what had been lacking for the last two years.

“I wanted to push myself, I wanted to challenge myself and the MasterChef kitchen gave me all that,” he said. “The last three or four weeks, I was having a ball… going back into the MasterChef kitchen has given me the edge to push myself, to really strive for something that I can do better or I can improve, or something that I can learn.

MasterChef really made me come back and kick-start my creativity, and really put me back again,” Sashi said, before adding that after finally being eliminated, “now I’ve experienced everything, now I can safely say I’m one of the contestants who went through everything.”