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Hoda Exits The MasterChef Kitchen: "Nigella Gave Me Great Advice"

"My kids told me I'm not allowed to go back!”

She amazed the judges and world-renowned culinary queen Nigella Lawson with her hand-pulled cotton candy made from scratch, but unlike the sugary treat, Hoda Kobeiss says her elimination from the MasterChef competition has been "bittersweet".

“It is really sad to have to leave the competition, we’ve all become such great mates -- you definitely live in a bubble on the show and become close,” she told ten daily.

“I’m happy in a way though, because I really missed my family and friends -- especially my kids [son Hassan and daughter Mariam], so to come back to them is just amazing,” she added.

“They were so proud, but in the same breath they told me I wasn’t allowed to go back!” she laughed. “They really missed me but at the same time they were so happy and proud to be seeing me on TV.”

While the 32-year-old says the whole MasterChef experience was “amazing” and that she “learned so much”, Hoda said the highlight was meeting her idol, Nigella Lawson, during Nigella Week -- particularly when the star foodie commented that she found it “fascinating” watching her work her magic.

“I’m a massive, massive fan of Nigella!” she exclaimed. “Her style of cooking is similar to mine. I do aspire to be like her and I’ve always watched her shows. To have met her and impress her was a huge moment for me. It’s surreal --- you think, ‘Oh, I’ll never get to meet in her in person’ then one day you do!”

She added, "She also gave me some great advice. Like, if you're going to create something, make sure that you're passionate about it and not just do it for the sake of doing it. You need to put love into everything you do."

As for what’s next for the talented contestant, she says she’s currently in the process of setting up a mobile pop-up.

“It’s going to be called Halawa -- it’s my take on modernising Middle Eastern desserts. I'm also planning some market stalls, and I'll be going to the Cake Bake & Sweets Show in November," she said.

She's also currently in talks with a business owner to open up a cooking school -- a dream she's had since before her MasterChef appearance.

"I wanted to do it for disadvantaged communities, so if I can work in something to do with that then I’ll be happy."