Ezani juggles dentistry, fame and motherhood
Ezani on the set of MasterChef Malaysia As a dentistry student at the University of Adelaide Ezani Farhana Md Monoto was inspired by the diversity of Australian cuisine. She spent her spare moments cooking and watching MasterChef Australia – a pastime that proved unexpectedly rewarding when she returned home to Malaysia.
Encouraged by friends to enter the first season of MasterChef Malaysia, Ezani was not only selected as a contestant, but after battling her way through the challenges was crowned the winner.
“I entered the competition not really having any expectations and not even aiming for the win so when it happened it was very daunting thinking that my life was about to change so much,” she says.
Afterwards, Ezani received an influx of offers for TV appearances, product endorsements and ambassadorships.
“I was ready to take on new adventures with my new life but being thrown into the limelight with attention from the media and also being recognised in public was quite nerve-wracking,” she says.
But fame hasn’t prompted Ezani to set aside her career in dentistry. She juggles her full-time dental work, practising at a university health centre in Malaysia with her life as a celebrity chef. In the evenings she writes recipes and on weekends she often makes guest appearances at events, acts as a cooking competition judge, takes part in photo and video shoots for commercials or gives live cooking demonstrations.
As a health professional, Ezani is an advocate for healthy eating and spreads the awareness and inspiration for healthy cooking through various platforms. In 2015 she published her first cookbook entitled Inspirasi Dapur.
On top of managing two very diverse careers, Ezani spends as much time as she can with her baby daughter, enjoying introducing her to the world of food that she is so passionate about. Ezani credits her parents for helping her to succeed, saying they gave her the freedom to follow her passion, while also encouraging her academic and professional career.
“University also taught me a lot about being independent and studying in Adelaide as an international student gave me invaluable social and communication skills, and an understanding of diversity,” she says.
“Being a dentist means that I have good manual dexterity – this pays off for a cook as well, to have good hand and technical skills. Dentistry also moulded my patience – I was known in the MasterChef kitchen as the cool and calm one.”
Ezani is now hoping to expand her range of baked products which were released on the market last year.
“I want to continue to be active in both my careers and ultimately I want to keep sharing my passion for food with others.”
Story by Genevieve Sanchez