Why MasterChef Hopeful Kishwar Got So Emotional During Her Audition

Having made it all the way to the judging table with a smile on her face, Kishwar became overwhelmed by just one question.

Hoping her dish would be enough to secure her an apron and a place in the Top 24, Kishwar said she had a great time cooking her dish. Despite the high-pressure environment, the mum-of-two was in great spirits when she walked in to see judges Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong, and Andy Allen.

In a preview clip, Kishwar can be seen fighting back tears after the judges asked her about her long-held dream to create a cookbook full of traditional Bengali recipes.

"When I started thinking about my food dream I choked up a little and realised how much I really wanted this, how long I've wanted this for, and I think that's when I became emotional," she told 10 play, adding, "I think the judges got a little emotional too."

After the chaos of 2020, Kishwar took stock of what was important to her and - at the behest of her son - she applied to MasterChef Australia.

"He wrote down the email and said, 'Mum you've really got to do this for yourself, this is what you really love to do,'" she explained. "He kept pestering me and pestering me... he's my son but sometimes he acts like my dad," she said, laughing.

Kishwar didn't immediately follow through with her application but, on top of her son's nagging, she put everything into perspective and realised it was something that really meant a lot to her.

Much like her four-year-old daughter, Kishwar fell in love with cooking at a young age. Ever since she could remember she was in the kitchen helping her grandmother and parents.

"Food is right at the centre of my house, we grew up around that," she explained.

"In terms of falling in love with cooking and cuisine it's Bengali cuisine which is from East India and Bangladesh," Kishwar continued. "They're the traditional dishes that my grandmother and my parents taught me, and they're the things that I try and now teach my kids."

It wasn't a difficult decision for Kishwar when it came to selecting the kind of dish she wanted to present to the judges during her audition.

"It was really important to cook something that showed my heritage and what food means to me," she said. "I love eating food from a lot of different regions but if I think about deep down what my food journey is, or what I love, what I want to showcase and what I want to do, it is to cook Bengali food."

The food dream that makes her so emotional in her audition, she explained, is a cookbook of traditional Bengali dishes that she was taught - handing down the stories and the flavours of her heritage to not just her children but a wider audience.

Surprised by her own emotional reaction to explaining how passionate she was about preserving those traditional dishes, Kishwar said she began to realise how important it was to her to also introduce a wider Australian audience to Bengali cuisine.

"I was born and brought up here," she said, "and when I was growing up [Bengali food] was very unheard of. My son is going to be 12 this year and... talking about Bengali food on a platform like this is really important for my son because then he can actually own his heritage."

Having been a fan of the series, Kishwar knows the power MasterChef has to open up the audience's eyes to new cuisines and flavours that they may not have been so familiar with before.

"I've learned so much about other people's cultures just through their food... so cooking Bengali food on this platform is huge and really exciting."

Does Kishwar have what it takes to earn an apron from the judges? Find out when MasterChef Australia premieres on Monday, April 19 at 7.30 on 10 and 10 play