Since appearing on the latest series of Masterchef, life has changed dramatically for Rahula ‘Ray’ Silva.
The 43-year-old Wollongong doctor has traded appointments for appetisers – weekdays at least.
Mr Silva was the 12th person to be eliminated from the popular cooking show after serving a dish lacking “wow factor” to the judges.
The reality television experience has fuelled the fire in his passion for culinary delights and spurred him to downgrade his work as a GP to weekends only.
“There’s certain things you can’t buy or pay for. In medicine we’re very guided by regulations and procedure so there’s very little avenue to be creative,” Mr Silva said. “A lot of people didn’t get it … my dad was one person who was like ‘why are you doing this, you’re a doctor, you can earn lots more money’.’
Many others were supportive of his choice, with his time now taken up learning the tricks of the trade at Ruby’s restaurant in Mount Kembla and looking after his two daughters Maya and Lana.
“The week I came out I knocked on [Ruby’s chef Scott Woods’] door straight away and said this is what I’ve been doing … can I come and play a couple of days a week and he said ‘yeah’,” Mr Silva said.
“It’s always kind of felt a bit like home.”
The passionate cook has been dining at the Mount Kembla eatery for years and even worked as a waiter during his time at university.
Mr Silva and Mr Woods are developing dishes which mix sweet and savoury to tempt customers once the season changes.
The ultimate goal for Mr Silva is to open a small restaurant near Wollongong.