A young sit at home mother finally takes the delicious Middle Eastern cooking to the next level on an international ground. Samira El Khafir, who finished at #3 at the phenomenal MasterChef Australia Season 5 has made the Arab world proud with her peerless achievement. Born and raised in Australia, this Lebanese-Australian MasterChef finalist had earned the awe of the judges and her fans with her authentic Middle Eastern cuisines with a modern twist. Excerpt from the exclusive interview Bahrain This Week had with Samira:
How did it feel being the first person from Middle East to top in a globally accepted show like MasterChef?
It was amazing; I finished top 3 in Australia from over 1000 people who applied for the MasterChef Series. I was very proud to represent my culture, community and religion.
What was it like to be back in the MasterChef kitchen as a wildcard entry and end up being in the top 3?
It was great to be back in the mc kitchen for another opportunity after my elimination. I got to go home and see my husband and children and I realized they are doing ok without me so it helped me want to get back into the show. Knowing my children are fine I did not feel so bad being away and they gave me the strength to continue achieving on this great show
How was the response from your home country and the Arab world on your achievement?
The respond from Middle Eastern Australians was overwhelming I had so much support not only from Australia but from fans around the world it made me proud to know I can connect, with people from the Middle East and around the world.
It’s now one year since you finished in top 3 at the MasterChef Australia Season 5. How is your life since the saga?
Well life has been busy, amazing and great. I have been able to do so much I have become ambassador for “PANDA” the post and anti natal depression association, supporting women who are suffering depression after birth. I have also opened my first cafe at the first Islamic Museum of Australia. I now have also released my first book “Eat With Love“. I have also been working on a Middle Eastern cooking show called modern Middle Eastern cooking which is not only a cooking show but also a tourism show at the same time to see life in Australia.
Who was the toughest among the 3 judges? Are you still in touch with the fellow competitors during Season 5?
Toughest judge would be George and Matt Preston they are both very familiar with middle eastern flavors. In regards to contestants I am still in contact with Lynton, Rishi and Nolene. They are an amazing bunch.
Can we have a brief about the new book “Eat With Love” that you have published? When can we get them here in Bahrain and other parts of middle east?
My book is about middle eastern cuisine, you will have traditional dishes: mezza banquets and desserts and there also some of my amazing MasterChef dishes like my modern baklava. At this stage the book has been released in Australia, USA and United Kingdom of Britain. I hope that the publishers will also release it in Bahrain. However you can purchase a copy online
When do you think the Kingdom of Bahrain will get to meet and have a taste of your winning cuisine?
I would love to come to the Kingdom of Bahrain, I have heard so many wonderful things about your country. If you were to invite me to be a guest of your country I would be more than delighted to create some of my wonderful MasterChef dishes and meet all the beautiful people of Bahrain