Not so long ago, the 7-year-old Farhan Momin was the assistant to his mother for the chores in the kitchen. He had the responsibility of cutting up fresh vegetables with a kid-friendly knife and now fast forward to 2018, this 25-year-old lad, a dental student, may just go on to become the next MasterChef of USA.
He has come a long way to prove his worth to the judges, and he has not only earned the apron but also topped in the first challenge of the season the Mystery Box. Surprisingly, he used the recipe of his parents – tandoori fried chicken on a buttermilk black pepper biscuit – to fixate a place for him. And Judge Aaron Sanchez simply loved this Desi dish.
It was both, Ramsay and Sanchez, who wanted Farhan on their teams as all the judges – Gordon Ramsay, Aaron Sanchez, and Joe Bastianich – have to mentor eight contestants throughout the contest but it was Farhan who chose to be mentored by Sanchez. Both of them forged a great bonding over their immigration status and like Sanchez has given an immense contribution to Mexican food, Farhan Momin also wants to contribute to the Indian cuisine. Overcoming a minor setback, Momin performed well in his recreation of judge Gordon Ramsay’s crab benedict, allowing him to advance to the next round. While two co-contestants were eliminated, Momin is (at the time of writing) still a contender who hopes to win.
The winner of the show will receive $250,000 and when asked Farhan as to what he would do with such a huge amount of money, he declared that half of it would go to his parent’s retirement fund as a thank you gesture for whatever they have done for him. Farhan Momin grew up in Georgia and is presently residing in Downers Gove.
Although Momin is currently attending dental school, he finds time to practice his skills and invent new dishes, some of which become additions to the menu at Tava. For Momin, cooking isn’t just a hobby. He said it’s his creative outlet — an opportunity to both share his identity with others and escape from his hectic routine as a dental student. Momin finds a parallel purpose between his passion and his profession — they both bring joy to people’s lives. Whether he is perfecting someone’s smile through dentistry or making them smile with his food, Momin said that he is most fulfilled by making people happy.
“The joy people get from eating your food is immeasurable,” Momin said. “I think that’s what keeps me going — just seeing the joy I bring to people.”