Masterchef champ could open restaurant soon
MasterChef champion Shelina Permallo has revealed she could soon be opening her own restaurant.
The 29-year-old former charity worker from Tooting was crowned winner last Thursday when the final was screened on BBC One.
She said life has been chaotic ever since, but the impact of becoming an instant celebrity is slowly starting to sink in.
She managed to spend a relaxing Mother's Day with her family on Sunday, but is already planning to open her first restaurant.
The British-born Mauritian, originally from Southampton, was dubbed the queen of mangoes during the series for using the fruit in her tropical inspired cooking.
She watched the final surrounded by family and friends in The Clarence, in Balham High Road, where her husband Andrea works as a general manager.
The chef was backed by locals in the pub who all wore supportive t-shirts printed by her husband.
For the past three months she, her husband and her mother had known she was the winner but they had been sworn to secrecy.
She said: "I have had a lot of friends saying 'How did you keep that from me?' I have been apologising to a lot of people for keeping this big secret.
"It was hard hiding it - the most significant moment of your whole life and not being able to tell them.
"Everyone was looking at my face watching to see my reaction."
Permallo said she has been able to keep a low profile since her win in Tooting, but more people tend to notice her in Balham - particularly when she is pulling pints when helping her husband at work.
And she said her recipe for success is to "Pour your soul into the food".
She said: "I think you have got to love what you do. When I was not happy with my food it didn’t come out well. You have got to love the food."
Despite planning for a restaurant she has not yet found the ideal location.
She added: "I do want it to happen, but I don't know where yet but it would be a tropical restaurant.
"My long term wish is to have that restaurant everyone loves and have my regulars."
Shelina has also backed our brand-new Food section - www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/food.
And as if that wasn't enough, you can also get your hands on a copy of Lawrence Dallaglio's Italian cookbook completely free of charge.