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An Interview with Alana Lowes, Top 3 finalist at MasterChef Australia 2011, who captured viewers with her spirit and talent in the kitchen.
Alana Lowes, MasterChef Australia 2011
An Interview with Alana Lowes, Top 3 finalist at MasterChef Australia 2011, who captured viewers with her spirit and talent in the kitchen
Alana Lowes has many credits to her name – but the one which pushed her into the limelight and earned her loads of fans from all corners of the world, was ending up as a finalist on Masterchef Australia 2011. Here she speaks about her journey, passions and her future plans.
Aparna V.Singh (AVS): At the risk of sounding clichéd, how has the MasterChef journey been? How has reaching the top 3 changed your life?
Alana Lowes (AL): MasterChef was one of the most amazing times of my life (other than getting married of course!). It has allowed me to be fully immersed into the world of food and I get to travel around and meet some incredible people, not only during the filming of the show (I met Nigella Lawson!!) but also following the show. Some of the other contestants have become some of my friends for life.
AVS: You may know that Masterchef Australia was a big success here in India. Were you surprised to hear that?
AL: I knew previous seasons of MasterChef were popular in India and I just hoped that season 3 would be as popular. The support all the way from India has been fantastic; some of my most loyal and beautiful fans are Indian. I just love getting messages or hearing that people have cooked a recipe off my blog – A Morish Distraction. I really hope to (and soon…) get to India and travel around, sample the food and talk to the locals.
AVS: Obviously, you love cooking, but is there anything you dislike about it?
AL: The dishes! I wish that I had a dish fairy that would come in at the end of a day of testing or after a dinner party and clean up all the mess!
AVS: Cooking for yourself or your family, day-in and day-out can get routine and boring. Any tips to handle the monotony?
AL: Mix it up with simple things, for example: if you don’t eat a lot of fish, pick up some fish fillets and pan fry them with some spices or make a lentil salad rather that a green tossed salad. If you usually cook with Indian flavours or South East Asian flavours, maybe it is time to grab some basil and oregano and all of a sudden you are cooking something that tastes Italian.
AVS: Among Indian cuisines/foods, what do you particularly like?
AL: I love naan bread and chicken tikka/tikka masala. Saffron rice is something that is really special as well as it makes the table look so colourful when it is served. And of course, anything that is dessert is a favourite.
AVS: Travelling is another one of your passions. Any interesting travel tale that you would like to share with us?
AL: When I travel I always do a cooking class as this is the place you hear the most interesting stories about a culture. Food is such an important part for each and every culture around the world and learning how a certain cuisine has developed over time is fascinating. I also love adventure and I have been hiking/trekking through New Zealand, Malaysia and Vietnam. Turkey was a magical place for me.
AVS: We hear that there are cookbooks and TV shows in the offing! Do tell us a little about your future plans.
AL: I am working with a production company at the moment developing my own food show and have been approached by other production companies to work with them.
I would love to have the chance to travel to India and work on a food show there as well, maybe visit different areas in India and learn all about the beautiful cuisine! For me, food and culture has such a significant connection and telling those stories is what people want to hear.
Thanks Alana! And do visit us in India soon!
Founder & Chief Editor of Women's Web, Aparna believes in the power of ideas and conversations to create change. She has been writing since she was ten. In another life, she used to be read more...
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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