Shazia Mirza

Shazia Mirza

© Martin Twomey

'I prepared for MasterChef by burning two kitchens down'

Shazia Mirza on entering the BBC cookery programme

Shazia Mirza appears on Celebrity Masterchef next week – starting at 9pm on Wednesday August 9. Here she shares her culinary experience…

What made you want to do Celebrity MasterChef?  

I’d always thought about doing it, but it looked so scary. Now I say, just do it! can make egg on toast, egg and chips, beans on toast, so I'll be alright.  

How did it feel to walk into the kitchen for the first time? 

Walking into the kitchen for the first time is really strange, because you've seen it already. I watch it on TV all the time. So when you go there you feel like you know John and Gregg and you know the kitchen, but it's totally a different feeling when you're actually in there. It gets really scary and I got very nervous.  

How have you prepared for the series?  

I prepared for MasterChef by burning two kitchens down. I burnt down the home economics room at school once and my mum’s kitchen once. But I've learned my lesson, I know not to leave the oven on when there's nothing in there! 

What does your family think of your cooking?  

My mum and dad are from Pakistan, so they think they've had the best. They've had the best food cooked by the best chefs that's really authentic and off the street. Anything I cook is just a recipe, so they've always got a complaint when I make something. They’re like ‘I can't taste the turmeric’ or ‘this needs more salt.’ Every time I cook the same dish, it always turns out different! 

What is your desert island dish? 

Vegetable moussaka. 

What are three things that you always have in your fridge?  

I always have butter, garlic and ginger. 

What is your favourite dish to cook at home? 

My favourite dish to cook at home is either Matar Paneer or Saag Paneer which is cottage cheese and peas or cottage cheese and spinach in a curry. 

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Published: 1 Aug 2023

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