Bangladesh's Kishwar Chowdhury, who won the hearts of millions with her passion for food, may have lost the competition but she surely succeeded in representing Bangladeshi food and culture throughout.
Justin won the Masterchef Australia 13 while Pete became the first runner-up. Unfortunately, Kishwar failed by a few marks.
Kishwar scored an overall of 114, while Pete scored 124 and Justin secured his win with almost perfect score.
The 38-year-old Kishwar became the first Bangladeshi contestant ever to reach the top 3 of Masterchef. Both the Indian media and Bangladeshi media have been raving about her wonderful dishes.
Revealing she comes "from a big family of cooks", Kishwar said she was proud of using recipes from her loved ones and making them her own in the kitchen, reports Huffington Post.
"The Bengali cuisine that I carry with me has been passed down from generation to generation. I've always taken a little creative licence with it," she said.
Grand Finale episode review
The grand finale episode, which was divided into two parts on Monday and Tuesday, showcased the contestants Kishwar, Justin and Pete fighting for the top spot.
In the last and final round of Masterchef, the contestants had to face a pressure test given to them by celebrity chef Peter Gilmore.
They had to make not one but two dishes and that too simultaneously. The finalists had to make a savoury and sweet dish.
The savoury dish was a shaved squid number from Quay while the dessert was a brand new Bennelong dessert: the Golden Crackle. The contestants had five hours to recreate the dish and they had additional 25 minutes for plating.
During the plating, Kishwar's koji butter sauce split and she had a hard time platting the dish. Fortunately, Kishwar was able to mix her split butter sauce with the warm squid which emulsified it back together again. Jock called the noodles "absolutely perfect" while Peter was highly impressed. Although the judges appreciated her dish, they did comment that the shaved squid number's texture was a bit underwhelming.
The judges loved Kishwar's dessert. Andy called it's a "very solid effort" while Mel praised the discernible layers.
In the Mystery Box challenge, celebrity chefs gave the contestants their own ingredients to work with. Contestants had duck, passion fruit, fresh foraged saffron milkcup mushrooms, Kohlrabi, Pandan leaves, King George whiting fish, gold chocolate and Tomato ponzu.
In the first round, Kishwar cooked Pandan wrapped whiting fish with duck fat mushrooms and Kohlrabi salad. The fish felt dry to judge Jock and thus Kishwar and Justin both scored 21 while Pete won the first round with his King George whiting fish with Kohlrabi and Pine Mushrooms.
In the second round, the contestants had to pick their ingredients and curveballs from each of the two bowls.
Kishwar put forward a hearty but delicious Bangladeshi food called smoked rice water with aloo bhorta and sardines. She also used the white Soy to marinate the fish with ginger, cumin and coriander with a side of salsa on the plate.
Jock said, "Beautiful and the sardine was cooked to perfection. Then you have got Salsa that sits on top of it, which is limey, oniony, coriandery. All the components are pretty tasty. "
On describing the dish, Kishwar told the judges that "This is the type of food that you wouldn't see in a restaurant anywhere. So it feels scary but it also feels extremely rewarding to do this as my finale dish."
Melissa called Kishwar's smoked rice water with aloo bhorta and sardines, "A powerful dish. To have the heart and soul of the dish be all about something as simple as rice and water and seasonings. You know it is powerful with history and it is powerful with flavour."
Andy called the dish a "beautiful contrast between the beautiful pillowy potato, the rice, the smoked water and then that oily fish with that crust on top of it was truly great."
Kishwar's popular dishes made in Masterchef
Kishwar's journey started into the kitchens of MasterChef Australia Season 13 with her sardines in green mango broth, served with black lentils, beetroot, and blood orange bhorta.
Kishwar brought classic local dishes -- including "Kala bhuna," "Fuchka-Chotpoti," "Macher-Jhol","Rangamati Barramundi Curry" and other delicacies, all the way to MasterChef kitchen on previous episodes.
Kishwar also cooked food of different cuisine which includes 'Khao Suey' along with a Vanilla and Pistachio Kulfi called 'Persian and Vanilla Roses'. In addition to showing off her inventive skills in recreating traditional dishes, she has also shown that she is comfortable and just as innovative in creating dishes of international cuisines.
Kishwar even reinvented the classic "Bhapa Mach" by giving it a unique twist in a tantalising broth. The Masterchef contestant made the poached Murray Cod tail shank in Ginger and Tomato broth with tomato confit, fried leeks, and caraway dust.
She also reimagined the classic roshogulla dish by making ricotta balls poached in orange blossom syrup, bay and vanilla creme legere, saffron glass and candied orange rind at the Masterchef house.
In the semi-finale episode Kishwar stole the hearts of judges with her "Love letter to Bangladesh" called 'After Dinner Mint", a refreshing and palette soothing dessert composed of betel leaf and fennel ice cream.
Things you need to know about Kishwar
Kishwar was born and raised in Melbourne to Laila and Kamrul Chowdhury. Kishwar's father Kamrul Chowdhury is a freedom fighter who moved to Australia 50 years ago. There he fell in love with Laila Chowdhury who belong from Kolkata. Both her parents were an integral part of building Bengali community in Victoria, Melbourne.
She has an extended family living both in Melbourne and Dhaka. Kishwar Chowdhury is a Bangladeshi-Indian printing business owner currently based in Victoria, Australia. Following a stint in Germany and then six years establishing her business in Bangladesh, Kishwar made her way back to Melbourne in 2015. Besides cooking, she is also a lover of anthropology and history, she travels extensively, enjoys downtime at her farm, and writes poetry. She was in Presbyterian Ladies College, she completed a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University before completing a post-graduate degree in Graphic Design from the University of the Arts in London. Kishwar is married to her high-school sweetheart Ehtesham and they have two children together.
Kishwar returned to Melbourne in 2015, but would travel to Dhaka four to five times a year pre-Covid. Having experienced different cuisines from three different continents. Kishwar grew her knowledge of mixing spices and understanding ingredients from across the globe.
Kishwar has also mentioned how previous Masterchef participants Adam Liaw and Poh Ling Yeo inspired her to pursue her culinary dreams.
Being a mother of two, she plans to write a Bangladeshi cookbook and work in a professional kitchen.