Indian-origin amateur chef wins top UK prize | india | Hindustan Times
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Indian-origin amateur chef wins top UK prize

india Updated: Apr 10, 2010 01:40 IST
Dhruv Baker

Dhruv Baker, a London-based sales executive whose Indian mother taught him the intricacies of cooking, has won the BBC’s MasterChef 2010 — one of the most prestigious cookery game shows in Britain.

Baker, 34, quit his job at a media firm to take part in the popular BBC One programme, and called his victory “mind blowing”.He was one of three finalists, and won over the judges with his fusion of Indian and Western flavours.

Baker is from a mixed race background with an English father and Indian mother, who he credits with inspiring his interest. He was born in Mexico where he lived with his parents until he was four, and then moved to India where he first discovered his passion for food.Judge Gregg Wallace praised Baker for having the “palate of an angel”.Baker lives in Wandsworth, south-west London, with wife Aileen and their 20-month-old son Arun.

The last show of the series began with Baker and his competitors Alex Rushmer and Tim Kinnaird creating a menu from a box of mystery ingredients.Baker’s dishes included poached lobster, venison and massala chi ice cream.Speaking after the competition, Baker said: “I am overwhelmed. It feels so liberating. I have always been interested in food. My mother taught me to cook but it has stayed with me all my life. I always cook dinner and love having people over.” He added: “I hope that winning Masterchef will allow me to pursue my dreams of a career in food and to continue learning and improving as a cook.”

Judge Wallace said: “I have rarely seen as an exceptional cook as that with their own very clever distinct style, their use of flavouring was just absolutely superb and the drive and the ambition — incredible and just an all round decent bloke.” He added: “Unusual food and brilliant food. He is probably one of the most amazing talents I’ve ever seen. He has the palate of an angel.”