My New Year Dinner Fit For A Masterchef: Nikita's The New Champion Of Tv's Toughest Cookery Show.

When Nikita Pathakji won the prestigious MasterChef: The Professionals after 18 challenging rounds, judge chef Marcus Wareing declared her dishes 'sublime'. But that compliment was nothing compared to the honour bestowed by her mother, Rima.

My New Year Dinner Fit For A Masterchef

'Even after being a chef for six years, I was allowed to do only the canapes and petits fours at Mum's dinner parties,' she says, laughing. 'Now Mum is finally letting me do some of the mains. Her friends want to taste my food.'

My New Year Dinner Fit For A Masterchef

'I'll wake up at 3am to go to Billingsgate Market to buy fish, Smithfield to buy meat and New Covent Garden for flowers,' says Rima, who works in financial services. But that's all part of the fun. 'I have quite a stressful job. Some people play golf to decompress, I cook.'

My New Year Dinner Fit For A Masterchef

'A world opened up to me — the supermarkets!' she says, sitting with her daughters in her immaculate living room, Nikita's MasterChef trophy glinting in the corner.

My New Year Dinner Fit For A Masterchef

'I'd seen so many shows about making spag bol — now I could get my hands on pasta, soy sauce, risotto rice, avocados for guacamole. It was so exciting.'

My New Year Dinner Fit For A Masterchef

We always like to have scallops because they are [mum's partner] Neil's favourite — he'd eat hundreds if he could. This time we're giving them a Spanish twist with chorizo, piquillo peppers, tomatoes, chillis and Manchego cheese on top.


Chicken breast and truffle mash, caramelised shallot puree, pickled walnuts, chanterelles and salt and vinegar crisps


I thought about doing this dish in the MasterChef final but it felt too risky — chicken's a little bit too accessible for such a grand occasion. But I made this dish for friends a few years ago and they still bang on about it.


We always like to do a palate cleanser before dessert, something light to break up the tastes. I wanted to do clementine because it has a festive feel.

Palate Cleanser

I used to experiment a lot more with fancy desserts but it turns out all people want is a rich, classic, indulgent one. Mum says she doesn't want her dessert to be challenging.


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