Bringing Asian food culture alive

Shefali Saxena Saturday 16th April 2022 03:38 EDT

MasterChef UK contestant 36-year-old Sonu (Sanskruti) was born and grew up in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.  After getting married, she migrated to the UK at the age of 25. She’s married with two children - her son Maanav is nine and Shanaya is four. Gujarati food is a huge part of her cooking but she also loves to cook European dishes too. She’s a vegetarian but cooks meat dishes for her friends and family. 


Speaking exclusively to Asian Voice, Sonu said, “Being deaf has been a struggle at points and cooking has always been there as my way of relaxing. I now feel ready to show that being deaf doesn’t mean I have limited options or I can’t have a go at the competition and I feel ready to give it my best shot.”

What is it like being a part of such a popular show?

Overwhelming and surreal. Feeding John and Greg have been my dream ever since I started watching MasterChef. It's come true now.

What kind of food do you like? Especially the food that belongs to your culture?

I love eating comfort food. My favourites include khichdi, kadhi and pav bhaji. It takes me back to my childhood memories and reminds me of home.

What kind of cooperation do you have from the show producers to meet your special needs?

Everyone on the set was very accommodating and met my requests to make me feel comfortable and be at ease, such as wearing a clear mask and speaking while facing me and not from behind. I recently had my cochlear implant surgery and was adjusting to the new mode of hearing. I had voice inflammation that resulted in my voice getting croaky. They gave me enough time and breaks in between.

What is your message to more South Asian women who perhaps don't have the know-how or courage to participate?

I'd encourage them to go for it and not let their disability be the blocker and to believe in themselves. You are way better than you think and will get all the support needed.

What do you wish to do once the show is over?

I hope to introduce a South Asian inspired dessert range and plan to open a cosy cafe in the future.

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