Dr Saliha Mahmood Ahmed
Crowned Masterchef 2017 champion, Saliha Mahmood Ahmed’s cooking is a fusion of East meets West.
After seven weeks of gruelling contest she wowed judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace with her stunning flavours mixed with modern presentation and at just 29 is clearly a rising star to watch.
Saliha started cooking at a young age, influenced by being part of a large Pakistani family and the traditional recipes she saw her grandmothers making when everyone got together.
After winning a School Chef of the Year competition aged 15, she embarked on a journey of discovering new ways to present Eastern food, a journey which led her to battling 63 other contestants in Masterchef 2017.
Up against stiff competition in the final, her three-course meal for the judges of venison shami kebab, a Kashmiri duck breast main course and Saffron rosewater and cardamom pannacotta dessert stunned Gregg and John.
Having taken the title, Saliha – whose medical speciality is gastroenterology – says she wants to continue combining her medical career with food, producing her own cookbooks which not only share Eastern recipe gems but also encourage healthy eating.