Nikita Pathakji crowned the winner of MasterChef: The Professionals 2022
Image by Nikita Pathakji Instagram account
Derby born Nikita Pathakji has won the title of MasterChef: The Professionals 2022 after defeating 31 other talented chefs.
On Sunday, Pathakji managed to come at the top of the competition that tests the culinary excellence of the participants, judged by renowned and established professionals in the field.
The 25-year-old is the 16th professional chef to win the Masterchef competition, which is watched on television by millions every year. With her unique dishes inspired by her travels across Asia, she has joined champions including Derek Johnstone, Steve Groves, Ash Mair, among others, impressed judges Marcus Wareing, Gregg Wallace, and Anna Haugh, all of whom have gone on to become successful chefs.
Pathakji was surprised to find out that she had won and said, “This is incredible and I can’t put it into words. It surpasses every achievement of my life.
“I don’t know how I’m going to top this. This is the peak, I think I’ve reached it!”
Critics and experts were very happy after Nikita’s win. Well-known food critic William Sitwell called her “a force to be reckoned with”.
Pathakji, who had cooked an octopus starter at the Chef’s Table, quickly impressed Michelin-starred chef Jun Tanaka, who admitted that it took him back to his childhood days and congratulated her on nailing the dish.
Marcus Wareing, also a Michelin-starred chef, said that she was a chef who had grown in front of their eyes. He added, “Her food has been sublime and she’s always come up with an amazing twist.”
Renowned chef and Masterchef judge, Anna Haugh, believed that the culinary star is on her way to create a unique cuisine. She told The Mirror, “And that is why she’s our champion. As soon as Nikita walked into the kitchen I could see she had class.”
Seasoned Masterchef judge and co-presenter, Gregg Wallace said, “Nikita is using food that she fell in love with from her own travels around Asia.
“That chef is completely and utterly in love with the food she’s producing. She opened up the larder of the world and brought us stunning dish after stunning dish.”
When asked about what her future plans were, Pathakji told the Daily Mail, “It would be brilliant to work alongside the other MasterChef finalists to do bespoke menus and events. My long-term goal is to be a chef-owner of a successful restaurant where I get to cook my own food every day.
“I’d want to foster a great working environment, much like my current workplace. Championing women in the industry, as well as creating a good work life balance, is so important to me.”