Rishi Desai, 35, originally from Kolhapur, Maharashtra, is one of the 22 contestants still in the running on the television cooking show, MasterChef Australia 2013.
Rishi, who now lives in Queanbeyan in New South Wales with his wife Mitra and their six-year-old son Sharang, is a public servant.
He credits his skill and knowledge of cooking to his mother. “The inspiration and knowledge comes from my mother. She is a great cook and produces some amazing Indian food with ordinary ingredients."
Rishi's interest in the culinary arts began at the early age of five, when he would watch his mother cook full meals for 14 members of the Desai family. “My mother tells me that I cooked something up at five. Since then I've always had this thing for food. “It's something I go to when I'm stressed. It’s something I go to when I'm bored and angry. Basically, with any kind of emotion I end up in the kitchen."
So what is that one dish that he remembers cooking when he was young?
“I was 13 and wanted to bake a healthy cake using atta instead of maida. The cake turned out rock solid! I could throw it on somebody's head and they could get hurt (laughs).