Decoding the MasterChef 5 Contestant: Sadaf Hussain


Sadaf is a young, creative, dynamic and a warm at heart person who apart from following his passion for cooking also spends time in helping others with his social work. Since he has entered MasterChef, he has been quite successfully meeting up with all the challenges and that too with excellence. A great team player and a great artist in cooking, Sadaf is sure to go miles ahead in his passion for cooking.

HospiBuz brings you an exclusive conversation with Sadaf Hussain to explore his thoughts on cooking and following one’s own passion in life.

HospiBuz: Every person always has an inspiring story behind him/her. What was something that drove you towards cooking so much that you decided to take it professionally where you also started a café during this journey?

Related imageSadaf Hussain : My mother tells me that the only reason I agreed to go to school as a child was because I used to get food three times in the span of four hours. More than books, clearly I was more interested in food and this love for food never faded. It only grew stronger with every passing day, and I weighed 88 kilos at the age of 13. I used to be a round ball. This was not by accident, but by design. I actually wanted to be the fattest kid on Earth, so I ate everything I could.

I personally believe people who have this unquestionable love towards eating, are also the ones who love to spend time in kitchen and cooking, than anywhere else. When I was 10 years old, I was helping my mother in the kitchen. I made chapattis and tori (snake gourd) for my family. I remember that the chapattis were so fat and tough to bite, that my mother urged not to cook food again. I think I possibly took this comment personally and started challenging myself and wanted to then cook a perfect meal, hence as a kid I started observing people cooking food. I would go to small roadside restaurants and street vendors and observe them, learn from them and started replicating their techniques in my kitchen. Apart from observing them, I also enjoyed watching Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Tarla Dalal on TV. As a diligent student, I used to learn and write their recipes.

The first dish I ever made after observing these chefs and roadside cooks was chicken noodles. They weren’t all that great, but it helped me train my mind.

HospiBuz: You are a Chef, programs facilitator and photographer, what is something you would associate yourself the most and what has something that has driven you to successfully manage your career as an activist, cooking and photography.

Related imageSadaf Hussain : It is said that curiosity is good and it helps you grow as an individual. I am a restless soul who can never settle down with one thing

I am a people’s person, I always enjoying being around people and talking to them. Their narratives make me happy. All my different professions help meet these people. When I manage and facilitate programs and sessions at my organisation, I am meeting people. When I am taking pictures, I am meeting people and capturing their emotions. When I am cooking, I am cooking for people and bringing smile on their faces.

HospiBuz: How would you rate your experience in MasterChef 5 till now? What is something that MasterChef has taught you which you would always carry with you all over your life?

Related imageSadaf Hussain :  My experience in Masterchef Kitchen was beautiful and unreal. I come from a small town in Jharkhand, who has never learnt cooking professionally. People from small town usually have small dreams, and I was no different, but when Master Chef happened in my life, I started seeing big dreams and believing more in myself and my passion for food.

I remember the first day of the shoot I was so nervous standing in front of all the three judges. I have always followed their work but seeing them in reality, was an unbelievable experience.

MasterChef taught me “go all in” with my food and take risks. I used to cook as if that is my last cook in the kitchen because once you have the fear of losing something, and then only you can push your boundaries, feel the pressure and give the best result possible.

HospiBuz: In MasterChef season 5 there has been a number of tasks that has been based upon “Teamwork”. How according to you teamwork has its importance in a life of professional chefs and what are the few qualities a good team player must possess while taking up the challenges.

Related imageSadaf Hussain : I personally am a team player and of an opinion that if you want to achieve something big, you must perform in a team. Kitchen in this regards is no different. You are serving 50 or 100 people, and as a team, everyone has to perform. This team must work as well oiled machine and should be ready to take on different roles as and when required.

Kitchen like a war zone 😛 you must work without egos to serve your guests and make them happy otherwise prepare to get bad comments.

I remember there were times when I was assigned only one thing but as a team player if I am seeing someone not performing or finding difficulties then I used to go and help. No point of pointing out the issues, but the leader is the one who steers the team and take it to the finish line.

Leader must be a good communicator and one who wins the trust of the team. As I have already said that I am a people’s person. There wasn’t any time when my team had trust issues in me, they knew I always have their back.

HospiBuz: How does it feel to be judged by world’s best chefs in such a high-profile competition? How do you handle the pressure of expectation and performing on merit at the same time?

Related imageSadaf Hussain : Kids and Chefs or someone who knows inside out of food are the most difficult audience that any chef/home cook can ever have. They will reject the food you have served is not good. I was so scared when I served my judges for the first time, but then I eventually realised that it is a good to be scared. I used to be very scared of Chef Kunal, and sweat when he was around during my cooking in the kitchen 😉

But the judgement from these judges gave me courage to cook better, and take more risk. I was always scared before and after the cooking. Before to know what is going to come today, and after to know the result, but during the cook I am and used to be always calm. Cooking is something I know the best, and nobody can take this away from me, so why to come under pressure and ruin the food.

HospiBuz: To all our aspiring chef’s, authors, entrepreneurs and readers what sort of advice would you like to give about following the passion and how to overcome difficult times during this phase.

Related imageSadaf Hussain :  I believe if you made mistakes in the kitchen, it is not a bad thing. If your mistake helped make good food, that can be your signature dish and if not, then improve your food and make it better. Never be afraid of a mistake, that’s how we all learn.

My website ( is about the history and stories behind the food and of course my recipes as well. So if you are passionate about anything, make sure you pursue it. Whether you are a chef, reader, author, entrepreneurs, photographer or anything else, just ensure you put your heart and soul in it. Be passionate and love your work.

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