Upon his return to the MasterChef kitchen, Sashi was met with a revamped and a whole new dynamic between the fans and favourites.
“It was a very cute experience because the fans, they adore us,” he says. “They love watching us on TV, they’ve seen us cooking before they know a lot about us.”
“At the same time, they’re there to face off with us,” he adds. “There is a bit of a grey line between mentoring and also being competitive. So, it was an interesting challenge.”
“Other than the physical difference,” he laughs, “the judging criteria and everything was pretty much the same.”
In the years since his win, Sashi opened a series of pop-up restaurants called GAJA by Sashi before putting down roots in his local Adelaide with a restaurant and express version of GAJA.
He also launched his own home chef kits called Sashi’s Secret, with kits for dishes like Nasi Goreng and Malaysian Chicken Curry.
The chef also has big plans to launch a new fine-dining restaurant, The Pandan Club, in India this June or July, followed by his cookbook release in August.
“I’m getting much busier than the last time,” he laughs, referring to how things have changed over the years.
“More things have been lined up for this year compared to my season 10.”
With so many projects in the pipeline, it was a bit of a struggle to balance his real-life responsibilities while he was filming for MasterChef.
“It was a little hectic because I need to juggle meetings, phone calls and restaurant commitments and all my other commitments together with the filming schedule.
“So, it was a bit of a challenging time,” he says.
But, with a little bit of planning and some much-needed boundaries, Sashi was able to do it all and walk away with a kickstart for creative cooking.