Marida Mohammed has plans for cooking show, restaurant
The 31-year-old former Sudburian was the runner-up in the reality television show's finale — which was taped at the end of October, but aired April 28 — coming in second to Oakville's Eric Chong.
“I would have loved to have won that prize and that title, but at the end of the day, it was a prize in itself just wearing that white coat,” Mohammed said.
The meal she cooked during the finale was inspired by the cuisine of Trinidad, where she lived until she was 13. She cooked pumpkin callaloo soup, fish with pigeon pea puree, mango and cucumber and apple crumble and coconut ice cream.
Mohammed met with a little accident while making the soup — it escaped the blender and splattered onto one of the judges.
“It was like 'OK, only I would do something like this on national TV,'” she said. “And of course it would happen with a judge in front of me. What you didn't see was he licked off his jacket. He was like 'Mmm, delicious.'”
Mohammed also faced some criticism from the judges for leaving the apple skins on in her apple crumble.
“I've had nightmares since about those damn apples,” she said, although she doesn't regret leaving the apple skins on, as she feels it added to the colours on the plate.
Both Mohammed and Chong were praised by the judges during the finale.
“Having three amazing chefs try my food as a home cook and be like 'Mmm, I would travel for this,' this is great. It was flattering.”
As she cooked her final meal on MasterChef Canada, Mohammed's boyfriend and three-year-old daughter, mom and six siblings — including twin sister Narida, who competed in earlier rounds of the show — were there, cheering her on.
She said she found that a bit nervewracking, although it was nice to have them there.
“They're like my biggest critics,” Mohammed laughs.
These days, Mohammed has resumed her life as a stay-at-home mom.
But she said she had a few plans in the works, including working on a cooking show pilot with Narida, to be called “Twice the Spice.” The twins are also looking at opening their own fine-dining Trinidadian restaurant one day.
Mohammed thanks Sudburians for the support they've given her during her time on MasterChef Canada.
“I want to say how amazing Sudbury has been throughout this incredible journey,” she said.