Shelina is British Mauritian with both parents migrating from Mauritius to Southampton, UK in the 1970’s. After working as a project manager in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion, Shelina went on to take part in BBC 1’s popular MasterChef programme. After being crowned BBC’s MasterChef Champion in 2012 she launched into TV and media as well as publishing her first cook book ‘Sunshine on a Plate’ showcasing her Mauritian heritage.
She opened her first restaurant Lakaz Maman in Southampton in 2016, greeted with critical and popular acclaim as featured in The Telegraph in 2020
Her restaurant is inspired by modern Mauritian street food and is run by an all-female management team, which is rare in the field of hospitality.
Shelina regularly appears on radio and TV – BBC radio 4 as a regular panellist alongside Jay Rayner. She is a regular judge on BBC 1 MasterChef as well as featuring in shows such as Saturday Kitchen, Kirstie Allsopp Handmade Christmas and John & Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen.
Her first book ‘Sunshine on a Plate’ reflects her Mauritian Heritage and won the Gourmand book awards for ‘best African cookbook’, her second book The Sunshine Diet was published in 2015 both published by Ebury Press.
Most recently she has partnered her restaurant with SOS Children’s Village, an orphanage based in Mauritius. For every full-time staff member, Lakaz Maman will sponsor a child in order to directly impact and benefit vulnerable children in Mauritius. Her community work in Southampton is extensive and was appointed Chair of Southampton 2025 City of Culture Trust. During the pandemic, Shelina and her team cooked over 1,500 meals for keyworkers, homeless, and children, as well as supporting over 300 free school meals. She is an ambassador for Southampton’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme.
RESTAURANT – UK’S FIRST MAURITIAN STREET KITCHEN
In April 2016 Shelina opened up her first restaurant ‘Lakaz Maman Mauritian Street Kitchen’ in Southampton, UK. Number one for street Food in Southampton Lakaz Maman means Mum’s House an ode to the inspiration behind her cookery success, the restaurant focuses on Modern Mauritian Street Food showcasing the best of this African island
Lakaz Maman had its first broadsheet Review in 2020 by the Telegraph and it was coined as “very heaven” by food critic Keith Miller. Lakaz Maman is managed by an all-female management team which is rare within the hospitality industry and Shelina is very proud of being able to pioneer equality and diversity within the workplace. Lakaz Maman has one TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards 2021 & 2022 ranking it top 10% of restaurants in the world. Lakaz Maman won Diners Choice Awards by Opentable 2021 & 2022 respectively.
Shelina Permalloo wowed TV judges of BBC’s MasterChef in 2012 and won the TV show with over 6.5 million viewers with her unique dishes of Mauritius the small island in Africa.
TV & MEDIA
BBC1 – MasterChef returns every year as a guest judge
C4 John and Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen 2020
Channel 4 What’s Cooking and Sunday Brunch
ITV’s Lorraine and This Morning (filmed a mini-series with Lorraine called ‘Shelina’s Mauritian Kitchen’) Food Network ‘The Big Eat’ with Ching He Heung, as well as the Christmas series
MasterChef South Africa – Series 3 filmed in Mauritius as a guest Judge Saturday Ktchen with Matt Tebbutt – Regular Guest Chef
Kirsties Handmade Christmas Channel 4 – Guest Chef
Amazon Prime World Cook Competition – Guest Chef
Shelina joined the team of esteemed foodies on the highly respected radio programme The Kitchen Cabinet BBC radio 4 chaired by renowned food critic Jay Rayner https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001dmk9
Sunshine on a Plate, 2013, Penguin – Award Winning Best African Cookbook 2013, Gourmand Awards Sunshine Diet, 2014, Penguin