Nikita Pathakji, 25 has been crowned MasterChef: The Professionals Champion 2022. As the 16th professional chef to earn the esteemed MasterChef: The Professionals title, Nikita takes her place in MasterChef history alongside other outstanding champions: Derek Johnstone; Steve Groves; Claire Lara; Ash Mair, joint winners Keri Moss and Anton Piotrowski; Steven Edwards; Jamie Scott; Mark Stinchcombe; Gary Maclean; Craig Johnston; Laurence Henry; Stu Deeley, Alex Webb and last year’s winner, Dan Lee.
Reacting to her win, Nikita said: “This is incredible and I can’t put it into words. It surpasses every achievement of my life. I don’t know how I’m going to top this.” Marcus Wareing commented: “She’s a chef that has grown right in front of our eyes. Her food has been sublime and she’s always come up with an amazing twist.” Anna Haugh said: “Nikita is on the road to creating a very unique cuisine. And that is why she’s our champion. As soon as Nikita walked into the kitchen I could see she had class.” Gregg Wallace added: “Nikita is using food that she fell in love with from her own travels around Asia. That chef is completely and utterly in love with the food she’s producing. She opened up the larder of the world and brought us stunning dish after stunning dish.”
Nikita’s winning menu started with Sea Bass cured in a Citrus Dressing, Smoked Aubergine Purée, Spicy Red Pepper Purée with Pomegranate, Preserved Lemon, Parsley Oil and a side of Aubergine Crisps. Inspired by her time in Thailand - Nikita’s main course was Crispy Chicken Thighs, Tortellini filled with Chicken, Mushrooms and Coriander and Coriander Oil, topped with handmade Sev, finished with a Coconut Curry Sauce and a side of Crispy Chicken Skin dusted with Chilli Powder, topped with a Mango, Cumin and Onion Purée. To finish, Nikita served Cardamom and Custard Tart, Apricot poached in Honey Syrup, topped with a Honey Tuile and an Apricot, Honey and Lemon Sorbet.
Catch up now on BBC iPlayer.