Prison officer Sashi Cheliah, who was born in Singapore, has made it to the grand final of reality TV show MasterChef Australia.
His chicken lemak dish and pineapple tart with lime ice cream dessert propelled him past the semi-final of the cooking competition on Monday (July 30), and he will be facing off against Queensland builder Ben Borsht in the grand final on Tuesday night (July 31).
Mr Sashi, 40, moved to Adelaide six years ago. He started cooking regularly only when he made the move, according to an interview with The Straits Times in June.
He decided to try for the competition when he saw advertisements for MasterChef Australia Season 10 auditions pop up on his Facebook page.
Mr Sashi is married to a 39-year-old nurse and has two sons aged 10 and 12. He was a police officer in Singapore for 12 years before moving to Australia.
His dream, should he win the competition, is to open a restaurant serving Indian and South-east Asian cuisine, with a mind on hiring ex-convicts.
"There are a lot of good courses in prison such as food-handling and pastry-making," Mr Sashi told ST in June.
"But employment after getting out of prison is very limited. It would be great if I could do something for the ex-convicts."
The winner of the competition will get A$250,000 (S$252,800).
The grand final challenge will see Mr Sashi and Mr Borsht try to recreate a complicated dish by world-renowned chef Heston Blumenthal that is served at his restaurant The Fat Duck.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.