Midwest-Indian Fusion Food Lands Rochester Woman on Masterchef

August 08, 2019 05:43 PM

(ABC 6 News) - A Rochester woman is cooking up new flavors on this season of MasterChef.

But more than a decade ago, Shari Mukherjee would never have imagined she’d be spending that much time in the kitchen. 

"I'd always liked to bake but I never really enjoyed cooking," she said.

When she married her Indian husband, things started to change. 

"His mom was concerned that he wouldn't have those foods he grew up with. Maybe that he would forget some of those flavors. So I took it upon myself to really learn Indian cooking," she said.

Now, she makes a lot of fusion food, mixing her Minnesota roots with Indian cuisine. 

"Like a tater tot hot dish for example. I'll make homemade tater tots with Indian spices and I'll make the filling instead of using beef, my husband is Hindu so he doesn't eat beef, so I'll use a lamb and spice it up a little bit," she said.

Her creativity earned her a white apron on the 10th season of MasterChef.

She is only the second Minnesotan to compete in the show’s history. 

"Minnesota really hasn't been represented on the show and I don't know why. Because I feel like especially in Minneapolis there is such a great food scene. And in Rochester the food scene is starting to develop a little more,” she said. 

Soon, she hopes to make her own mark on the city.

"What I plan to do are some popup restaurants here in town and some new dining experiences. I want to introduce people to some of these flavors of Indian food but maybe in a way that resonates with them," she said.

Until then, you can catch her cooking on MasterChef, fighting for the title and the $250,000 grand prize. 


Talia Milavetz

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