Following in the footstep of the previous winner of MasterChef US Christine Ha, a Polish-Vietnamese student recently won the top prize of Poland’s version of the cooking show.
According to BBC, on December 9, the final episode of MasterChef Poland was screened on Polish channel TVN and 21-year-old Ola Nguyen clinched the coveted title, beating two other local contestants who are both in their 30s.
Nguyen was the first contestant of Vietnamese descent to participate in the reality TV show and also the youngest winner of the MasterChef title. She’s currently a third-year student at the SGH Warsaw School of Economics.
Similar to other versions of MasterChef, as the winner, Ola Nguyen was awarded PLN100,000 (US$27,000) and a contract to write her own cookbook. Throughout the competition, Nguyen is known for her youthful energy and incorporation of Asian ingredients into her dishes.
Born as Nguyen Hoang Minh Tam, she moved to Poland with the family when she was seven years old, not knowing the language. She was especially touched that her Vietnamese grandmother was present in the studio during the final.
“My grandmother gave birth to seven children and she has 24 grandchildren,” she told local media in Polish. “She has worked hard throughout her life. Now, though she is suffering from diabetes and some other diseases, she still travels every year and plants her own vegetables…Though we rarely talk about this, each of us is proud of her.”