Photos by Jon Wah
Sashi Cheliah has been very busy since his MasterChef win in 2018. His restaurant, GAJA By Sashi, opened late last year on Pirie Street, and specialises in fusion flavours from South East Asia.
2020 brings with it a new endeavour for Cheliah, with the announcement of Sashi’s GAJA March. This inaugural series will feature three Top 24 MasterChef contestants from the most recent season 11 MasterChef Australia series, and Cheliah himself, cooking in the GAJA kitchen.
For each of the four dedicated dinner events in March, guests will be treated to a personalised, three course dinner and wine pairing experience, with the opportunity to take part in an intimate, sit down conversation with the night’s featured chef to discuss the menu (and potentially share some exclusive, behind-the-scenes MasterChef stories).
“Something like this has never happened before in Adelaide. It gives people the opportunity to try other cuisines from different MasterChef contestants all in one place. GAJA wants to promote other MasterChef talents too and we want the community to experience the amazing food and MasterChef stories. You can get good food anywhere but great food comes with passion and dedication. At GAJA, we want to serve great food,” says Cheliah.
The first event will take place on Saturday March 7, and will feature Dee Williams, who was the first Sri Lankan female contestant to compete on MasterChef Australia, and has since been working on her catering business Dee-Licious and YouTube cooking show, DeeliciousTV. Born in Sri Lanka, Williams’ cooking strongly reflects her Sri Lankan heritage.
The second event, slated for Saturday March 14, will see Sandeep Pandit treat guests to a menu inspired by his Kashmiri heritage and North Indian inspired food. Pandit was the first contestant in MasterChef history to achieve a perfect score and an immunity pin together.
The third event, set for Saturday March 21, will feature Derek Lau, known not only for his dumplings and fried chicken, but his knack for pushing boundaries and creativity in the kitchen. Lau’s parents were born in Hong Kong, which will inspire the Chinese flavours on his menu.
The fourth and final event on Saturday March 28 will be dedicated to Sashi Chelia himself, as he cooks an exclusive three course menu featuring dishes not available on the regular GAJA By Sashi menu.
GAJA by Sashi is located at 4/86 Pirie Street, Adelaide.