Interview with MasterChefâ€™s Neha Sen
Alicia Moo | On 03, Dec 2014
Neha Sen is a whirlwind of energy and a bucket full of excitement and laughter and her ice-cream and chutney line reflects every bit of her up-beat personality.
Neha’s Indian inspired ice-creams and chutneys are new, fresh and award winning. There’s no sign of plain old vanilla with flavours of coconut, lemon myrtle and macadamia (Gold medal at Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards), spiced orange and chocolate and a frozen yoghurt mango and honey lassi to name a few. Neha’sÂ chutneys are equally mouth watering and once again inspired by the flavours of her home land.
I sat down with Neha to talk about all things sweet, savoury and oh so delicious.
CD: What was the greatest lesson you learnt from your time on Masterchef?
NS: MasterChef has taught me never take no for an answer, if you have a breakdown you find a solution, think outside the box. I also learnt so much from the other contestants you get to hear, breathe and see food all the time.
CD: Why ice-cream and chutneys?
NS: Iâ€™m an ice cream freak and I guess the passion shows when people open my little packet. The chutneys are my mums recipe, I love chutney because you can put it in so many things. [My products] have something sassy about them, you have to stand out in the market. I wanted to give the consumer an experience, I wanted them to be excited enough to be able to take a photo and send it to me
CD: What advice would you give someone interested in the food world?
NS: Be passionate about what you are doing and get ready for some very long hours of work. I have slept for around 3 or 4 hours a night. There are days when I donâ€™t feel as if Iâ€™m working because I enjoy it so much. And donâ€™t be shy to work your little bum off.
CD: What is your favourite dish to cook?
NS: My favourite dish to cook changes every few weeks. Right now it is my duck curry with spices and coconut milk.
CD: What is your favourite food to eat out?
NS: Iâ€™m a cheap and cheerful kind of girl. I love a good cheap bowl of Vietnamese pho. I am not the kind of person into plating food, I rely on flavours
CD: What is your perfect weekend?
NS: Going to the beaches of Noosa and eating amazing food.
CD: What is your guilty pleasure?
NS: Ice cream, I donâ€™t even feel guilty about it, I can just sit there eating buckets and buckets.
CD: Name three peopleÂ you would choose to have over for dinner.
NS: Matt Preston, heâ€™s absolutely as you see him. Heâ€™s such a warm and generous person. Heâ€™s such great company. My mum and my husband, who is my right hand person to everything I do.
CD: What inspires you?
NS: The flavours of my land, I get so excited by the huge variety India offers.
CD: Where do you see yourself in five yearsâ€™ time?
NS: Hopefully I would see myself as a successful business woman with at least 10 different products in the range and having a great life with food and family around. It brings people together and makes memories.
CD: What is your ultimate dream?
NS: Iâ€™m a Queensland girl. The day I can own a house in Queensland and a house in Noosa, thatâ€™s it! I have achieved my dream. I just want my own veggie patch, a few dogs, swim and have a hippie lifestyle.
CD: What is your recipe for a good life?
NS: Someone very wise told me the other day at 32 if you know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life thatâ€™s the biggest pay check you can ever get. Because you are just going to be happy for the rest of your life, I think I have found my niche!
Nehaâ€™s delicious products are sold in numerous delis and supermarkets for more info head to her website.
Image Credits: David Boldery.