Indian-origin, Singapore-born Sashi Cheliah wins the title of MasterChef Australia 2018 and 250,000 Australian dollars in a tense but ultimately one-sided final.
It was a nail-biting finale at Masterchef Australia 2018. In the presence of judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris, and Gary Mehigan, 39-year-old Sashi Cheliah defeated Queensland builder Ben Borsht by scoring 93 marks out of 100, to walk away with the Season 10 title and the cash prize of 250,000 Australian dollars.
Sashi, whose roots are in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, serves as a prison guard at Adelaide, Australia. Prior to this, he served as a police officer in Singapore for 12 years. He moved to Adelaide six years ago and lives with his wife and two sons.
The other finalist, Ben Borsht, is a Queensland native. Sashi scored over Ben with a whopping 16 marks, and the judges said his award-winning dish scored the highest marks — 30 on 30 — in any Masterchef finale, ever. In the finals, Sashi's first dish, Cheliah’s Prawns, won praise from the judges — “a smashing starter that showcases really wonderful cooking” —and he scored a perfect 30 on 30. His second dish, dedicated to his aunt, was a fish cooked with a complex sauce, which got him 9 on 10.
Visibly ecstatic over his win, Sashi said, “MasterChef has been an amazing ride for me — I never thought I would come this far in the competition and to win is icing on the cake. The overwhelming support from my family and fans has made me realise my potential, and has motivated me to achieve great heights.”
Sashi wishes to use the prize money to start an Indian and South East Asian fusion restaurant. He also confesses that he plans to use this win to work for ex-prisoners and provide them with employment opportunities.
In a conversation with Daily Mail, he said, “I don't know what to expect after this. It's going to be a new ride for me. On the show, I was enjoying it, taking it day by day, but now thinking about going into the food industry full time is a bit nerve-wracking.”
The runner-up, Ben, walked away with $40,000 prize money, says News.com. One of the three chefs, Gary Mehigan addressed Sashi and said, “You have proven yourself to be a brilliant cook, a creative thinker, team player, a determined, kind soul with a dream to change your life and forge a new future in food.”