MasterChef 2023 Contestants Week 5 Interviews: Diya

MasterChef 2023 Contestants Week 5 Interviews: Diya

Find out who is preparing their best dishes for MasterChef 2023’s fifth week of heats in the hopes of impressing John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

Diya is a travel agent who is 38 years old. She spent her formative years in Malawi but now makes her home in Leicester with her husband and two young children.

How would you describe your style of cooking?

“I don’t think I have a particular style of cooking, as I like to cook anything and everything, I like to experiment with ingredients, and creating fusion dishes. Some work, and some don’t, but that’s the only way I learn. I could be in the kitchen rustling up a five-course meal, or dinner parties up to 30 people or more, but sometimes, it could be something really quick and simple made in one pan…it all depends on the day.

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I’m drawn to pan Asian cooking but will pretty much make anything as long as I have fresh ingredients.

I do try to avoid as much packaged foods or things out of a jar. Living in Africa, we didn’t have huge supermarkets and everything was always made from scratch and this has always been the way I like to cook for my family.”

What is your earliest cooking memory?

“When my mum actually let me make my own puris at the age of four all by myself whilst she watched over me. I went from making pretend food as a toddler to actually doing the real thing in the kitchen, it was that moment I just knew that I had found my one true love that will forever be…FOOD.”

“Mum was the biggest foodie that I have ever known, and she had magic in her hands, with simple ingredients, she would create something so special. She taught me that the secret ingredient to the most amazing food is LOVE, and this is what I am here to do on MasterChef, spread love through MY food.”

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Why did you enter MasterChef?

“I’ve watched the series for 17 years now, I’m a massive fan! I remember watching an episode with my mum when she was alive, she told me to apply for it, as she had full faith in me that I would do well. Entering and now taking part in this show is in a way paying homage to my mum, she has made me who I am today, and I owe everything to her…I can proudly say that I fulfilled her dream by being on the show.”

What is your food dream?

“I would love to write a cookbook, as there is something magical about seeing your name on a cover that’ll spread love and happiness in people’s homes through food.

If I do succeed in this field, I would definitely like to establish a business in catering, seeing and feeding happy faces truly brings a smile to mine.”

MasterChef Season 19 is currently airing weeknights on BBC One.

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.