Masterchef 2012: Shelina Crowned Cookery Queen

Shelina Permalloo has been crowned the Masterchef 2012 winner after she wowed Wallace with her mango canellonis.

Shelina, who hails from Tooting, south London, beat Andrew Kojima and Tom Rennolds in the show’s final to become the second female winner in eight years.

She said: “I am completely and utterly overwhelmed. I never thought it was going to be me that would win.

“The guys were so amazing and I just never thought it could happen to me.”

Her winning menu included an Octopus starter, mutton curry and dessert of mango cannelloni filled with lime curd.

Judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace were full of praise for the 29-year-old, saying that she “brought sunshine to a plateâ€?.

Shelina, whose family are originally from Mauritius, has paid tribute to her mother for giving her such impressive culinary skill: “My mum is a brilliant cook. I learnt everything from her. I’m basically her sous chef. She taught me to cook by intuition: never by using scales, always by sight and taste. So I developed a strong palate from a young age.

“I only ate Mauritian food growing up as it gave our family that affinity of being close to the island. Mauritian food is very frugal which is great in these economic climates but at the same time full of flavour, heady with aromatics, nutritional and damn tasty.”

The Mauritian Masterchef fought off tough competition in the final from Andrew and Tom, who she spoke of fondly to The Sun’s TV Biz…*sheds garlic-infused tear*

“They were so genuinely happy for me I found it really overwhelming. They are such close friends. They are like my siblings — naughty siblings!

“It’s been challenging but the overwhelming sense of achievement makes it worthwhile and I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.”

The last female winner, Thomasina Miers, has gone on to set up a successful Mexican cookery empire including a TV show, cookbooks and a a couple of London restaurants.

Can we expect the same from our girl Shelina?

She said: “I’d love a restaurant, it’s just going to take some money and time to get there. It’s a lot to take in at the moment. I’m just going to take each day as it comes.”