Cooking up a storm with a MasterChef Champion

We were privileged to welcome Nikita Pathakji, MasterChef: The Professionals Champion 2022, for a cookery workshop and inspiring talk.

25 September 2023

On Friday 15 September 2023, we were thrilled and privileged to have had Nikita Pathakji join us at Downe House. Nikita is best known for being crowned the champion of MasterChef: The Professionals in 2022. Nikita was generous enough with her time to give a practical workshop to our pupils who study Food & Nutrition, as well as giving an inspiring talk in the evening. We are grateful to one of our parents who introduced Nikita to the School and allowed us the opportunity to indulge in such a wonderful experience. 

Miss Seema Singh (Head of Food & Nutrition) reports on the day.

We certainly kept Nikita on her toes while she was with us! She delivered a workshop with a group of pupils from the Lower Fifth to Upper Sixth (Years 10 – 13). The dish of the day was gnocchi with basil pesto, heritage tomatoes and dressing.

After witnessing a masterful demonstration, the girls were able to get hands-on in the kitchen while Nikita offered advice.

The girls thoroughly enjoyed the workshop, gaining important cookery skills that they can carry with them into their future. The food produced looked and smelled amazing and was absolutely delicious.”

In the evening, Nikita spoke most sincerely and with such great passion for producing good food and how this must be done with respect for ingredients and the team producing it. Nikita also addressed important topics like resilience, working as a woman in a male-dominated environment, and dealing with the high and low moments that come with life. 



It is so important that the girls are exposed to young inspirational people from outside our institution who can motivate and make real-life connections that add relevance to their learning. Gaining insights and perspectives like Nikita’s is invaluable for our students.
– Miss Seema Singh, Head of Food & Nutrition

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