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Exclusive Interview With Rishi From Masterchef


Rishi Desai, the latest and most controversial Masterchef contestant to be eliminated,  showed he was all class in my interview with him. In fact he was so classy I could not bring myself to ask him why when we had been subjected to Daniel topless so many times why had we not had similar shots of himself.

We talked about what happened in the elimination challenge, his very bright future, and whether he should have been eliminated.

Reality Ravings: How do you feel about the social media sphere and the twittersphere going into meltdown over your elimination?

Rishi Desai: I have not actually looked at it but I have heard from people that it has gone crazy, I have not looked at any comments or anything. It’s weird, I did not think it would be a big issue.

RR: There is all sort of fear and loathing about Masterchef going on today. I was sad you left and I think 90 percent of my readers were as well. What happened?

RD: It’s hard, you know you could have done better like cooking the mussels before serving and making the charred leek cream was a bit of a gamble. I look back on it and I can learn from it and I could have done it better.

RR: Gary came over and hinted to not put the leek sauce on there and why did you?

RD: For my palate it was not that bad. It was a bit charry and that point I was getting confused about what he was trying to tell me not to put on the plate. Was it because it was charry or because it was not going to work. When I tasted it I thought it was not that bad and that is why I put it on the plate. Matt put it in the right way saying the overpowering charriness of the leek cream was overpowering everything else on the plate.

RR: The first challenge, you had all those advantages last night. You knew you were going to pick seafood why did you pick Emma when Lynton and Samira a much weaker in that area?

RD: Lynton has improved a lot. Now that I am not in the competition I am putting my money on Lynton to win as he has actually learnt a lot and he is getting better and better, so I was not going to pick him. It did cross my mind after the challenge, and hindsight is always a good thing, that I should have picked Samira. I should have went with something like Japanese cuisine which should have thrown her off completely.

RR: I am glad that it did not happen but a lot of people were saying pick Samira and pick pork. Were you told by the producers that you were not able to pick pork?

RD: No I was not told by the producers that I was not able to pick pork. They did not show it on TV but I did tell Samira and the judges that I was not going pick pork as she just could not cook with it.

RR: If it is was an American reality show you know they would have picked pork, they have no hesitation on throwing people under buses over there. 

RD: If she can’t cook something she can’t cook pork and I can’t force her to make pork. Of course I wanted Samira to go home as I wanted to get into the top 3. But my intention was to get into the top 3 with my capability and not somebodies fault.

RR: You cooked your mussels early is that because you thought I am going to plate up early and it does not matter as the food gets cold or did you just have a brain explosion?

RD: I went by a process, my mind works in a certain way and my mind just jots down what needs to be done. So for the mussels soup, my mind was mussels – tick, curry sauce – tick, flat bread – tick . So I now think about it and I should have changed the order a bit making the curry sauce first, flat bread second and mussels third. But as you said 30 minutes is not a long time and all you are thinking about is getting things done. You are not going to think about what is going to happen if I cook the mussels now.

RR: I was going to write an article to publish today, and I am glad I did not start writing it – titled Is Rishi Going To Be The Most Successful Masterchef Winner Ever? [Laughs]. What are you plans? Masterchef is huge in India as over 5% of my readers come from there when the show is on. When does it start airing over there?

RD: It is going to start airing on the 10 September. My plans are in some point in time when the show airs is to go there and visit people and try and get some publicity there. At the end of the day that is my home country. My mum and sister are still there. I plan to go there to meet and talk to people. One of the things I want to do is have a book and if I can sell the book and get some publicity for that.

RR: You said you were interested in doing a product range as well. However I presume you will make money out of cooking exhibitions, media appearances in both here and overseas.

RD: I plan to do some pop up restaurants here and in India and get some publicity here and overseas.

RR: I think you will be the winner from this series and make a lot of money. You are going to be huge there you’ve got the look, the personality and the cooking skills. I look forward to watching your journey in reality TV speak! 

RR: Should you have been eliminated last night or was it unfair?

RD: For me I failed on two things, I failed on the mussels and I failed on the leek cream. If you think about it that way I think it was my dishes that sent me home. But for people thinking that there could be some producer hand in it. I say to them the simple fact is I gave them the option to send me home and it was my mistake. If I had put up great dishes they would not have been able to send me home.

RR: Would you go on another reality TV show and if so which one.

RD: I would not at this point as I am still tired and maybe if you asked me in six months I would probably answer that differently. I am so tired of 5 1/2 months of Masterchef and I don’t have the energy to go on another reality TV show. I just want to spend sometime with my family. Maybe I will change my mind in the future.

RR: So maybe some Bollywood numbers next year on Dancing With The Stars. 

RD: [laughs] I look forward to that.



1 abc { 08.29.13 at 3:55 pm }

thanks for the interview. to all who say rishi is full of himself better read this.

2 Joseph Skyrim { 08.29.13 at 3:58 pm }

All class even in defeat. You are awesome Rishi, don’t ever change! Also, good interview RR! =)

3 Rosie { 08.29.13 at 4:10 pm }

Just as I expected: an absolute gentleman.

4 brain dead dave { 08.29.13 at 4:13 pm }

Not your fault that arse beat class, Rishi.

Good luck and great interview.

5 Veronica { 08.29.13 at 4:17 pm }

Yes good on you Rishi, you are such a nice person your mother should be really proud of you.

6 Littlepetal { 08.29.13 at 4:22 pm }

I could picture Rishi answering RR questions. All the best mate.

7 Daze { 08.29.13 at 4:22 pm }

What a great surprise RR, thank you.
Rishi, Congrats and wishing you all the best. Will miss seeing your smile.

8 Ness { 08.29.13 at 4:29 pm }

Rishi you are such an inspiration! You were by far the best cook and always had the best attitude of them all, even now. Us Indian Australians are extremely proud to call you one of us. I’m waiting to buy your cookbook!!

9 Culinary Boner { 08.29.13 at 4:36 pm }

Ya done good, Rishi, especially in getting through the Donovan Cooke challenge with two dishes that were way more complicated than simply slicing raw fish finely and throwing dressing and micro-herbs on top. Good luck. You should be proud of your efforts and how you competed.

Good interview, Raver.

10 buzzy { 08.29.13 at 4:37 pm }

Thanks RR. Great interview. Good Luck Rishi. We know we will see lots more of you.

11 nibehlung { 08.29.13 at 4:41 pm }

Ah, I wish he had pick Japanese cuisine for that first test. That’d certainly throw off Samira or Emma, who I don’t think were that good in cooking Japanese foods.

12 sapna { 08.29.13 at 4:49 pm }

Amazing Rishi!
You are winner all along…All the very best to you.. looking forward to seeing you more!!

13 Evan { 08.29.13 at 5:12 pm }

Rishi is a true gentleman and a class act.
I am sure he will be the Marion of 2013 – not winning Masterchef will not prevent him being succesful in future.

14 Eliza { 08.29.13 at 5:23 pm }

Great interview, RR. Rishi was extremely gracious in defeat. I’m sure like the rest of you that he will do well post show. I hope he’s right about Lynton winning!

15 q { 08.29.13 at 5:33 pm }

thanks for the interview RR
great questions as usual

16 Ari { 08.29.13 at 6:10 pm }

Sigh. <3
*Heart eyes*

17 Andrea { 08.29.13 at 6:12 pm }

Thanks RR, its a shame Rishi didn’t win.

18 Bel { 08.29.13 at 6:16 pm }

Yes great interview RR. What a nice guy. I don’t buy cookbooks much but if Rishi’s is indian-themed I’ll definitely grab it.

(I wouldn’t have been able to ask him about the shirtless thing either!)

19 Smythe { 08.29.13 at 6:27 pm }

Thanks for the interview RR. Rishi is a class act.

20 sarnias { 08.29.13 at 6:52 pm }

RR, fantastic interview, he sounds like a great guy. I wish him all the best and he was so graceful in his defeat. What a legend!!
Bel, same, I will buy his cookbook. I bought Julie’s and Adam’s but not Kate’s or Andy’s and I will not be buying this year’s cookbook from the “winner” of this series.

21 Izobel2 { 08.29.13 at 7:56 pm }

Thanks RR, great interview. I am in the Barossa and have not seen the ep but was shocked and sad that Rishi was eliminated. I was going for him to win, but I’m with you all, it’s not the last we’ll see of Rishi!

22 Carole { 08.29.13 at 8:35 pm }

What a class act, very gracious in defeat.

RR, did you think to ask him if was really him posting here a while back or an imposter?

23 Helen { 08.29.13 at 9:22 pm }

That’s it, Rishi’s gone and I am officially not a fan of MC anymore. He is by far the best cook on the show and I know he will go far (outside of MC now). Very sad and so surprised to see him go last night. Not watching the finale – couldn’t care less who wins.

24 sarnias { 08.29.13 at 10:37 pm }

We all feel the same way, Helen. :-(
Carole, great question, wonder if it really was him way back then.

25 KJ { 08.30.13 at 7:20 am }

What a classy guy! Well done Rishi, I’m sure that you will achieve all that you set out to do, and be the real winner of this series.

26 JK { 08.30.13 at 8:54 am }

I haven’t watched much of MCA this season but I have noticed that Rishi is the only contestant that has come a long way in the competition. Sad to see him go home before his expiry date, but hey that’s just the nature of how the competition has panned out. Doubt it that the finale would be any interest to anyone though. Poo bum!

27 Ritu { 08.30.13 at 9:02 am }

Rishi, u were too good!! You were the best cook in the all the 5 seasons of Masterchef that I have seen. You must achieve all your goals, because u have the talent and confidence to do so! You have made us Indians in Australia and everywhere so very proud!

28 Anonymous { 08.30.13 at 11:58 am }

Respect..absolute respect. I have watched every season of MC,never come across a guy like Rishi. Focused,passionate,disciplined,always in the right frame of mind,confident,never frazzled….and all this without rubbing anyone the wrong way…sigh,the finale is inconsequential:(

29 Evan { 08.30.13 at 1:33 pm }

I am a Facebook friend of Vern.
He told me that just about all of the contestants expected Rishi would either win or be in the final 3.
There was general shock at what happened earlier this week – ie. Rishi getting eliminated.
BTW Vern has got a lot of projects coming up, he was telling me, very busy boy after Masterchef.

30 Littlepetal { 08.30.13 at 5:19 pm }

I have read most of the exit interviews of eliminated contestants and all have named Rishi as the likely winner. So I am not surprise that they are shocked. We are shocked too.

I still don’t believe that Emma’s curry tasted good. When she was tasting the curry, her face has the expression that it was yakky. Can’t see how she could have fixed the curry and became amazing.

31 fathima mcgoldrick { 08.30.13 at 11:30 pm }

I am shocked that Emma had no idea how to cook a curry she took easy path of bit of this and that wonder the judges didn’t pick on that it is the finals have to nail it she didn’t. Rishi you are the winner in my eyes, hope to buy your book and go to your restaurant, very sad you were gone

32 Izobel2 { 08.31.13 at 11:44 pm }

Evan, my fave all along was Vern, I was going for him to win, then Rishi. Now I have no-one!
Thanks for the info!

33 Dee { 09.01.13 at 10:52 am }

I have no interest in watching the final show tonight after Rishi left. You and Vern showed the most skill and talent on this show. I think you’ve done all Indians in Australia proud by showing that you can cook more than just curry. I’d definitely buy your book and go to your restaurant.

34 cooking.eating.carousing. { 09.06.13 at 1:44 pm }

I was floored when I found out Rishi was eliminated. He was and is technically superior from the other contestants in the competition this season and he keeps a calm head under pressure, which I think are traits of a good working chef. Whereas the others are just average cooks with better “back stories” than Rishi. Clearly I’m still reeling from this debacle.

35 Kritika { 10.24.13 at 2:41 pm }

Oh you have a fan base in India indeed, Rishi! Love this guy for more reasons than one. Hope to see him in India soon. :)

36 priya { 10.26.13 at 3:24 am }

oh god i didn tknow rishi didnt win!!! anyway he’s been a perfect contestant! loved his methodical way of approaching d challenges! he is sure to achieve lot more n reach hsi dreams! thanx for the interview!

37 VRR { 11.12.13 at 4:16 am }

I love u so much. Large chest and shoulders

38 sholanki maitra { 11.15.13 at 3:19 am }

i really wanted for you to win…it is a spoiler alert because i have accidently got hold of the fact that you are not the winner because in india that episode has not come up yet…i feel very sad…but you are the best and you will do great… made indians and everyone proud…

39 ponung mize { 11.17.13 at 11:41 pm }

Oh nooooooooooooo…m so sad…i thot rishi wud win…nt going to watch anymore.:(:(..he was the best among all the contestants..ugh super bored.

40 Princess { 11.26.13 at 9:50 am }

OMG! I love you Rishi sooooooooo much! I wanted you to win so badly x

41 Anushka { 11.28.13 at 4:28 am }

The show is still being aired in India and am gonna watch it only till the episode when Rishi gets eliminated :( …a true class act Rishi …hope to see more of you.

42 Love ur cooking rishi. :-) :-) u deserve master chef title, all the best to ur future..!! Muscle man from india.!! { 12.05.13 at 4:56 pm }

Masterchef australia

43 Shyamala { 12.06.13 at 4:18 am }

Hi Rishi
You made all Indians proud the way you performed in master chef. Your fire-to-win and discipline and dedication are inspiring. You deserved to win. Judges were very biased. All the best in your future ventures. Also as a judge in future cooking events!

44 Reality Ravings | Rishi Desai { 05.27.14 at 6:07 pm }

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