10:11 16 March 2012
Shelina Permalloo has cooked her way to become the Masterchef champion 2012.
The 29-year-old became only the second female winner in eight years, after beating fellow finalists Andrew Kojima and Tom Rennolds.
"I am completely and utterly overwhelmed. I never thought it was going to be me that would win, the guys [Tom and Andrew] were so amazing and I just never thought it could happen to me.
"I am so happy and pleased that I was able to win by staying true to my roots. I am proud to have made my family proud and to support Mauritians as well. I think if my dad was around he would have been the proudest person ever."
Judge, John Torode added:
"What Shelina has done throughout this competition is outstanding. She is a very special cook with an exceptional talent who always wears a smile and cooks with care, to assault the senses and bring sunshine to a plate.
Gregg Wallace said: If ever there was a restaurant that had to happen it is Shelina's because her food is incredible. You can't find it in very many places; you can't really find it outside of Mauritius. I agree, she really does put sunshine on a plate.
Speaking of the toughest moment during the series for her, Permalloo said:
"I think every challenge was tough but the best thing was how much you learn at the end of it. Thailand was probably the most physically exhausting because of the heat and the sheer amount of arm power needed to pound those pastes!"
Talking about her future hopes, she concluded:
"I dream of opening a restaurant one day, raising the profile of Mauritian food in the UK, and be working with, and surrounded by, food."
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