Sumeet Saigal

Sumeet Saigal

Age: 46

State: NSW

Occupation: Sales Manager

A love of food is in Sumeet Saigal’s blood, embedded deep in her Punjabi culture and engrained in her family upbringing.

Growing up in Bangalore, India, Sumeet has fond memories of her parents throwing parties when she and brother Jasmeet would keenly watch the preparation and planning process. Her late mother Kamal was a warm and welcoming hostess, and Sumeet stepped up to help with the party food.

Her biggest food influence was her paternal grandfather, who she called Darji, a larger-than-life former freedom fighter, who loved cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. He gave Sumeet her first ever cookbook and helped her foster a curious and creative persona in the kitchen.

After studying hotel management, Sumeet forged a career in sales, but has always known deep down that food is where she belongs. The kitchen is a meditative space for Sumeet, a stressful day remedied by time spent cooking.

Apart from having her sights set on the MasterChef Australia trophy, Sumeet’s goal is to simplify Indian food and show people just how versatile a cuisine it can be; to break down stereotypes around Indian food being too rich, spicy, heavy or complicated.

She says her superpower is spices and Sumeet’s style is modern Indian, with a twist. While this calm cook can bend to sweet or savoury, big flavours of coriander, garlic and chilli will be there, and we can expect some of the flavoursome sauces which form Sumeet’s ultimate food dream, “Sauce Boss”, where she hopes to create a range of sauces that can be incorporated into other cuisines, bringing a hint of India.

As a proud mum to 17-year-old twins, Sumeet says it’s her kids who gave her the confidence to finally put her hand up for MasterChef Australia. Her father Gurkirpal, brother and sister-in-law, Sunena, are all supporting from India, along with her number one cheerleader, husband Gurvinder, who encourages her to go after her dreams.

Having resigned from her job to give her all to this journey, it is Sumeet’s time to allow both her skills and self-belief to grow as she rises to the MasterChef Australia challenge.