MasterChef Singapore Season 3 Runner-up & SHATEC Alumnus Nares Kanna On Taking the Leap

Another gripping, mouthwatering season of MasterChef Singapore has ended its run, where cooking tools have been wielded and tests of culinary and baking chops laid bare.

32-year-old Nares Kanna, SHATEC alumnus (DHM ‘10), former car salesman and Top 2 Finalist, has awed the season’s judges and won the hearts of TV viewers across the Singapore heartlands as the everyday man who has demonstrated “great talent” after emerging successfully from each of MasterChef’s intense challenges.

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Nares Kanna, MasterChef Singapore Season 3’s Top 2 Finalist!
Photo Credit: MediaCorp Channel 5

The competition saw Nares gunning for the finish line in a three-way finale battle. It was all or nothing for the top 2 finalists who scored the highest of the three, Nares and student Johnathan Chew, to go head-to-head in their final challenge to victory.

The journey ended with Nares taking the runner-up spot shy of a mere 1.5 points to season winner Johnathan. Having made a colossal leap throughout the taping of the show, Nares shared on the studio cam: “MasterChef has validated how strong I can be, and I’m ready to go!”

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Nares Kanna in the MasterChef Singapore finale.
Photo Credit: @nares.kanna (IG) 

SHATEC is excited to see where his culinary dreams take him next! We chat with Nares (NK) about his MasterChef journey as one of Singapore’s top home cooks.

SHATEC: What made you apply for MasterChef Singapore?

NK: A colleague of mine had informed me that MasterChef applications were going on and encouraged me to apply. I was hesitant at first, but I finally thought to give this challenge a shot—there was nothing to lose here!

SHATEC: How has life changed for you since appearing on the show?

NK: My TV experience was nerve-racking at first, though the excitement grew as I progressed in the show.

People have also been coming up to me at restaurants and on the streets to congratulate me. It's a really new feeling, I'm not used to this -laughs-.

SHATEC: What was your greatest challenge in MasterChef?

NK: I think the biggest challenge in Masterchef was myself. I had to constantly give myself a pep talk—that I am more than what I imagine myself to be and that I could do it.

It can be onerous if we live with the fear of being judged and go on to risk the chance of expanding ourselves.

SHATEC: What type of dish best represents you?

NK: I don't think there is a type of dish that represents me and I feel I don't want it to. Food is such a diverse thing around the world that it brings people together. And I also wish to see myself as such.

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Nares Kanna in his MasterChef jacket.
Photo Credit: MediaCorp Channel 5

SHATEC: Your dishes in the competition were heavily inspired by Indian cooking. What sparked you to take this direction?

NK: Initially, it was not of my intention to keep producing Indian flavours. Then I realised, if I don't represent Indian food on this genre-defying platform, who will?

Also, I wanted to bring a different Indian flair to my dishes, so these challenges were an opportunity to evaluate my relationship with the cuisine, then elevate my food.

SHATEC: Describe one quality about you that got you through to the Finals!

NK: Perseverance! In every challenge, I kept pushing and fighting regardless of how tired I was, physically or emotionally. It was all I could do to stay in the competition for longer.

SHATEC: What's next for you now after coming in Top 2 on MasterChef?

NK: I run my own private dining business called Twitch By Nareskanna, launched earlier this year. Guests are invited to my home and can experience my 6-course tasting menu.

SHATEC: What chef advice would you give to your SHATEC juniors?

NK: Just chase your dreams! I was never professionally trained in culinary, so I studied, read and watched a lot of material on my own.

You guys have opportunities presented to you as part of the SHATEC education so make the most of it. Ask plenty of questions, like plenty! Knowledge is one of the most powerful things in this world.

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