A Purley strategy manager is one of the contestants in MasterChef 2024.

Yogita Nagara is a chef who took part in the latest series before her elimination in Heat 5 in Episode 7.

Yogita grew up in Hyderabad, India, and moved to England in 2001, and she lives with her husband and son.

The 50-year-old chef said that her biggest inspirations were her husband and son, adding: “They always appreciate what I cook and encourage me to do more.”

Yogita’s love of cooking began when her late mother was always making great food.

Yogita told Your Local Guardian: “She never measured or followed recipes and cooked based on her instincts, which I continue to do.

“My earliest memory was from when I was around eight, I made a Dosa for breakfast when I had a day off school.

“We had to use coal or firewood to cook, so my mother sat by my side guiding me on how to use a ladle to scoop the fermented rice and lentil batter and spread it thinly.

“The heat from the burning coal made the Dosa nice and crispy.”

Yogita’s style of cooking includes a variety of cuisines with as many fresh ingredients as possible.

She described her food as “rustic, spicy and authentic.”

Yogita described her experience on MasterChef as “amazing” and added: “I have been cooking for a long time, so cooking comes naturally to me.

“I wasn’t nervous or stressed at any point because I just got stuck into cooking.

“If you’re confident, then nothing should bother you, even though there are cameras and people in your face all the time.

“I just forgot what was around me and concentrated on my focus.

“I had a great experience.”

Yogita first began watching MasterChef in 2005 and said she always loved watching John Torode and Gregg Wallace, particularly Wallace’s wit and humour.

She said: “MasterChef introduced us to a variety of Western cuisines and the nuances of making sauces, desserts and more.

“It also gave us a sneak peek of fine dining in the UK.”

Yogita chose to enter MasterChef to mark her 50th birthday after being encouraged by friends and family for several years to apply.

Yogita said: “It felt so special entering the MasterChef kitchen.

“To see it in real life after watching it on TV gives you a real sense of pride when you walk in.”

The final thing Yogita made before being eliminated was poached egg with hollandaise sauce when asked to make a brunch.

Yogita came in 40th place, and following her time on the show, she has further hopes and ambitions, and said: “My food dream is to ensure that as many people as possible experience the variety of vegetarian cuisines from India - especially from the Southern parts, which is less known in the UK and not widely available in restaurants.”