University worker bids to be Masterchef


Mum’s cooking is inspiration for Farhana Islam

A University of Wolverhampton staff member is bidding to be crowned as Masterchef in the BBC1 primetime show.

Farhana Islam works as an Information Assistant in the University’s Harrison Learning Centre in the City Centre.

Under the watchful eye of judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace, amateur chefs from across the country battle it out for the title.

Viewers last week saw Farhana, 28, come through a series of cooking challenges to progress to the semi-final of the competition.

This included an invention test, a service in a professional kitchen, a palate test and cooking for previous winners of the competition.

Farhana graduated from the University of Wolverhampton with an engineering degree in 2006 before going on to work for the University in a role where she supports students with IT related queries or searches in connection with their studies.

She said: “I’m a great fan of the show and love watching and reading about cookery, it’s such a passion of mine. I had only gone on the website to see when the next series was on and stumbled across the application form and decided to apply.

“I really started cooking when I came to university in Wolverhampton. I was living with students from all over the world and we’d cook together and share meals together so you’d experience so many different foods.

“I’d describe myself as a home-style cook who is creative but I’m really keen always to get flavour into my food. I’m very much inspired by my Mum, who is from Bangladesh, and see my approach as traditional with a twist, bringing in flavours from the east and west.

“When I entered the competition I never imagined I would ever get this far. It is very nerve wracking to be in that environment and very emotional at times.

“I was very star-struck when I first met the judges and to be asked to cook for them was a dream come true. You never know the tasks in advance and doing things like cooking for the previous winners and working in a professional kitchen is inspiring.

“Since people have started to find out I’m on the show, the support I have received has been overwhelming. I just want to do my best and carry on cooking as that’s what makes me happy.”

Farhana will next appear on Masterchef in two weeks competing for a place in the grand final.



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