Up until 2011, Shipra Khanna was living a life all too familiar among thousands of young Indian women: a slave to her husband and in-laws, catering to every arbitrary whim, suffering dowry abuse, and being physically and mentally tormented by a husband who used to sneer, whenever Khanna threatened to leave, that divorce would impoverish her, finish her and “strip her of the respect of society”.

He wasn’t to know that all the cooking she did for his family during their 10-year marriage would be her salvation, nor that, within a year of leaving him, his wife would win the popular television reality show MasterChef India.

Her win and subsequent fame turned her into a symbol of hope to other women; a proven example that it is possible to depart from the script society has dictated and start a new life. Shipra is one of the youngest self-made culinary talents in the world and is fast becoming the culinary industries first fashion icons for her sophisticated and seductive style.

Her creativity burst out on to the workstations of the Master chef kitchen, stunning the judges. She has since gone on to become one of the world’s most influential and inspirational female chefs the world has ever known.

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