Amal Hassan was born in Mogadishu, Somalia and spent the early part of her life there and in Yemen where, as a young girl, she learned how to cook traditional Somali and Middle Eastern dishes. Following the outbreak of the Civil War in Somalia, Amal settled in the UK, where she pursued a degree in molecular biology at University of Manchester. After working for a major international bank for a number of years, she began a new journey following her lifelong passion for food, having been inspired by her grandmother’s cooking as a young girl. Amal competed in MasterChef UK 2019 reaching the knockout stages of the semi-finals, where her mission was to introduce the UK public to Somali cuisine. Amal recently launched her own food business, Amal’s Pantry. She still lives in Manchester and is currently working on her debut cookbook.