Continuing with my profiling of Sri Lankans ‘making good’, I had an opportunity to meet Kumar Pereira, from Masterchef, at a gig where I performed. I was instantly taken with his warm personality and can see why he was a favourite amongst the millions of viewers who tuned in to the show.
I’m always curious to know how life is after such success and profile on a mega rating TV reality program. Has it been good, bad or indifferent? Well, check out what Kumar has to say below, it just might surprise you.
RF: So how is life after MasterChef ?
KP: It hasn’t stopped- in fact it has changed, I have given up teaching design at TAFE and now do other things
RF. What are you doing these days?
KP: After the show, I was requested to do demos around the country and overseas, Fiji, Sri Lanka and in the UK. I was also approached by Allen & Unwin to write and illustrate a book, then the following year was asked to take part in MasterChef All Stars, and continued with doing demos and cooking classes and travel
RF: Has the MasterChef profile then helped your career in food ?
KP: It has been as a result of MasterChef that I have a new career in food, writing and speaking
RF: What was the pressure like on set?
KP: It was immense, very long hours which involved early morning starts and late nights and this was on the set, when we were on outside locations we were flat out for the best part of the day and night
RF: Do you believe you achieved all your objectives by appearing on the show ?
KP: I didn’t have any expectations or an agenda. I guess I was naive, and all I wanted to do was to prove to myself that I could do something I liked doing and to see how I would go
RF: Any regrets or was it all a positive experience for you?
KP: It was a positive experience and I learned so much, both about myself and about cooking, even though it was difficult
RF: Would you take part in another reality show again?
KP: Well I went back to do MasterChefAll Stars, though I will not do another reality show
RF: What were your family’s thoughts on you being a contestant on MC?
KP: Like me they didn’t have any expectations as we didn’t know what to expect. Later however they were very supportive and encouraging
RF: Your other career in Graphic design would appear to be very successful
KP: It was, and I am glad I had that experience as it taught me about working hard and enjoying what you do
RF: Are you still involved in design at all. ?
KP: I do my own website, and have just published a range of cards “Paletteables’ see www.kumarpereira.net
RF: How did you feel when your “Kumar’s Family Cookbook” was published in May 2013?
KP: It was a lot of work having to write stories [family history] recipes, test the recipes, and illustrate all recipes as well, all in all it was a hugely hard but exciting project
RF: Was it well received by the community?
KP: From the feedback [press/radio interviews] as well as the talks I had to do it has been received well
RF: What advice do you give to anyone thinking of going on a reality TV show?
KP: Think long and hard before you commit as, it isn’t easy being on the show and even more difficult after it.
Previous Q & A: Andrew De Silva winner of Australia’s Got Talent 2012. Read it here Andrew was also profiled in my Melbourne Observer newspaper column. www.melbourneobserver.com.au
As always, feel free to comment or send me a message. I’d welcome any feedback that I can pass onto my guests.
Produced by Rob Foenander