Mother of two Hoda still recalls the first time she made a dish and people enjoyed it, kickstarting a love and passion for food, which has led her to the MasterChef Australia kitchen.
Growing up in a food orientated family, Hoda says family celebrations were just “constant layers of food”. As a teenager she began cooking for her family while her parents worked long hours. It was a simple stir fry the family loved that connected Hoda to her passion for creating beautiful dishes.
The second of four children, Hoda grew up in south-western Sydney. Excelling in cooking classes, piano and singing, she graduated with a Social Science degree specialising in Counselling in 2006. She worked at a not-for-profit organisation, helping find employment for people with mental health issues, before taking a break for a year and helping her parents with their picture framing business. She then returned to mental health support services, focussing on early intervention for children with poor mental health.
It was a role and occupation she relished, completing her Masters of Social Work in 2016. In the midst of it she married her husband Kamahl in 2005 and welcomed son Hassan in 2011 and daughter Mariam in 2014.
Citing Nigella Lawson, Luke Nguyen and Gordon Ramsay as favourites to watch in the kitchen, Hoda says she developed her own skills from her mother. Hoda was always helping and asking questions as her mother prepared meals for extended family gatherings.
Hoda’s food style is all about homely baked goods and she dreams of one day owning a food truck, operating a creative pop-up cooking school for parents and children in disadvantaged areas.
Outside of the kitchen Hoda loves fishing in the harbour with her husband and taking time out on deep-sea charters.