Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed’s MasterChef 2017 victory on Friday night delighted – and naturally divided – fans of the show.
The 29-year-old junior doctor beat off stiff competition from DJ Steve Kielty and theatre teacher Giovanna Ryan as they each prepared a three-course meal for MasterChef judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.
Some viewers felt that Steve should have won:
But many welcomed Saliha’s victory:
Her victory jig also had many admirers:
Steve himself was gracious in defeat and said that his opponent “deserved” her victory.
And Saliha herself was naturally delighted about the whole thing:
The new champion has said she won’t be giving up her day job as a doctor but is instead aiming to combine her work and cooking skills with a view to helping to tackle the UK’s obesity epidemic and possibly improving NHS food.
Her winning menu started with a venison shami kebab with cashew and coriander green chutney, chana daal and a kachumbar salad followed by a duck breast dish and a saffron rosewater and cardamom pannacotta for dessert.
Torode, who appeared to wipe away her tear during the victory presentation, said her food “sparkled” while Gregg agreed the dishes were “stunningly good”.
After being handed the MasterChef 2017 trophy, Saliha said: “I feel amazing right now, I can’t actually believe that this is true. I’m so happy that my cheekbones are hurting and I’m probably going to have a paracetamol for smile-induced fatigue.”