Chennai's Akash Muralidharan tops 'MasterChef India Tamil'; Anantapur's Mahboob Basha wins Telugu title

The Tamil season featured celebrity chefs Koushik Shankar, Shreeya Adka, and Rakesh Raghunathan as the judges
(L-R) Akash Muralidharan, Mahboob Vin Basha
(L-R) Akash Muralidharan, Mahboob Vin Basha

After a season brimming with exceptional culinary challenges and delectable dishes, Chennai's Akash Muralidharan was crowned the winner of MasterChef India Tamil, and Anantapur's Mahboob Vin Basha lifted the trophy of MasterChef India Telugu.

Apart from Akash, the finalists of the Tamil season were — Zarina Banu, Vani Sundar, and Pavithra Nalin. Known for his dedication to rediscovering and celebrating forgotten vegetables by incorporating them into his recipes, Akash is a champion of innovative ways to reduce food waste.

In the finale, Akash made the savoury dish 'Where is my Pongal?', and a dessert 'Where is my Sakkarai Pongal'.

Talking about winning the title, Akash, whose culinary journey began in his family's kitchen, where he drew inspiration from his grandmother, mother, and aunts, shared, "MasterChef has been a significant part of my life, and winning the title feels like living a dream. This victory is totally dedicated to my family, especially my brother, who has been my biggest supporter. I never imagined standing in the MasterChef India Tamil kitchen, wearing the apron, and cooking dishes for the world to see."

(L-R) Akash Muralidharan, Mahboob Vin Basha
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Despite studying architecture for five years, Akash pursued his passion for food, earning a master's degree in food design and innovation in Milan.

"This journey has not only helped me hone my culinary skills but also deepened my understanding of the importance of sustainable cooking. It has further fueled my passion for crafting delicious dishes using exotic ingredients. I hope my journey inspires others to pursue their culinary dreams and make a positive impact through innovative cooking," he added.

The Tamil season featured celebrity chefs Koushik Shankar, Shreeya Adka, and Rakesh Raghunathan as the judges.

(L-R) Akash Muralidharan, Mahboob Vin Basha
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On the other hand, the winner of MasterChef India Telugu Mahboob Vin Basha, who hails from Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, is driven by his passion for pastry.

Throughout the season, Mahboob faced stiff competition from other home cooks including Jasween Kaur, Shyam Gopisetti, and Ravi Prakash Chandran, who made it to the 'Top Four'.

A dedicated pastry chef, Mahboob was inspired by his father's kebab business and his dream of turning it into a fine dining experience. In the finale episode, he made the dish 'Grateful Golden Pista'.

Speaking about bagging the trophy, Mahboob said, "This victory is not just mine, it belongs to my family, especially my late father, whose love for cooking ignited my passion. Standing in the MasterChef kitchen, I often imagined his pride and joy. His dream of turning our kebab cart into a fine dining establishment has always been my driving force, and this win is a step closer to realising that dream."

"Having said that, the support from the judges and my fellow contestants has been invaluable throughout the season. Every challenge pushed me to explore new techniques and flavours, all while staying true to my roots. This journey has reinforced my belief in hard work and perseverance. I hope my story inspires others to pursue their culinary passions and create magic in their kitchens," added Mahboob.

The Telugu season had celebrity chefs Sanjay Thumma, Nikitha Umesh, and Chalapathi Rao as the judges.

'MasterChef India' streams on Sony LIV.

(L-R) Akash Muralidharan, Mahboob Vin Basha
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