After 11 gruelling weeks of innovative vegetarian cooking and 67 episodes of high-intense drama, 21-year-old Nikita Gandhi, an Indian based in Abu Dhabi, bagged the winner’s golden chef coat and Rs.1 crore (Rs.10 million) on “MasterChef India 4” here on Sunday.
Born in Ahmedabad, the young and vibrant food aficionado was chosen as the winner on the basis of viewers’ votes. She pipped Mumbai’s Neha Shah, who walked away with a prize money of Rs.10 lakh (Rs.1 million) and a trip for two to London; and the show’s second runner up, Hyderabad-based Bhakti Arora was given Rs.500,000.
Elated over her win, Gandhi found the news of her victory hard to assimilate, but she made an emotional point at the finale.
“These four to five months here (in India) thanks to ‘MasterChef…’ have made me realise that India is truly my home,” she said, and even thanked channel Star Plus and the show’s three judges — Sanjeev Kapoor, Vikas Khanna and Ranveer Brar — for giving her “a huge platform to portray my culinary talent”.
The trio of judges announced Gandhi as the winner at the finale, calling her a consistent performer throughout the season.
The grand finale featured lively performances by Gurmeet Chaudhary and Debina Bonnerjee, and “MasterChef India 3” winner Ripudaman Handa along with Shivang.
Bollywood actors Kangana Ranaut and R. Madhavan, co-stars of “Tanu Weds Manu Returns”, took part in a pani-puri making competition on the show.
The entertainment value of the show was further enhanced by a performance of the three finalists, and even the judges performed on a special song composed specially for “MasterChef India 4” by themselves.
The finale also saw actress Preity Zinta, choreographer Marzi Pestonji and author Chetan Bhagat, judges of the forthcoming reality show “Nach Baliye”, paying a visit on the set of “MasterChef India 4”.
Besides this, the eliminated contestants also came back on the show for the one last time and were seen cheering the three finalists. Raghu Ram hosted the show and kept the audiences entertained.