What…!!! 8-12 years old children can also cook..?? We have seen many children coming up with the talent of singing and dancing in reality shows but first time in India, there is a show where these small kids are going to amaze people with culinary skills. This TV show had already proved in just 5-6 episodes that there is no space for age in the world of food..!!
Yes, a new world of talent where you can expect the unexpected, kids have big dreams in their small eyes, passion for handling knives, gas stoves, pans and ovens at the age of playing with Barbie dolls and hot cars, where they claim confidently that they can cook a perfect meal without having any experience and they really can, where they almost know all the delights and cuisines, where they have this zeal of getting an Apron and becoming the first Junior Master Chef of India at the age of getting gifts, a world of fresh energy, confidence, and where their life is all surrounded with cooking. It is not just a competition but a big hope to bring the new era of cooking in India, and it feels awesome when you see these little chefs cooking with so much of the strength, fun and sweetness.
A ride from Food trial to Boot Camp-
The Food Trial started on 8th June’13 and thousands of children from all over the country came all the way to become Swad Ke Ustaad which is really an overwhelming response. We have three honored Chefs on the show not only to judge the super cute little Chefs but also to motivate and guide them, Chef Vikas Khanna, Chef Kunal Kapoor and Chef Jolly. Some kids got astonished by seeing the judges in front of them while some of them surprised the judges with their creativity and passion.
Shreya, a 10 year old prepared “Narayan Bhog”, the recipe of her grandma which includes Pooran Poli and Kheer. She impressed the judges by the presentation of the dish and the knowledge of nutrients. She also knows to cook lacha paranthas, paneer labadar, shrikhand, Chinese, Italian and what not…Amazing..Many just revived the old Mughlai and Rajasthani dishes which some of us don’t even know giving a feel of the 17th century. Aryaman, who is an encyclopedia of all the seasons of Masterchef India, prepared Tarzan Ke Jhinge, he is a super notorious kid who not only came with a perfect dish but also came with a perfection to trouble the judges loads of fun watching him..!!
Have you ever tried to cook Triple Decor Chocolate delight and strawberry compote, Chicken Amalfi, Gushtaba at the age of 11 or 12 years that too perfectly..?? I can bet my life on this that you didn’t but these kids surprised all of us by expressing their widest sense of knowledge about different cuisines and they also passed the criteria of Soch, Swad, and Surat.
For many children cooking became a passion from mere a way to earn for their family at the age of 12. Sarthak, who helps his mother in cooking for the college students..his life touched I guess almost everyone who had seen the episode and the dish “litti Chokha with Chutney” impressed the judges..Chef Kunal also gave his lucky wrist band to Sarthak as a blessing. The tears in his eyes with a sense of responsibility at this age and the zeal to do something not for him but for his mom and little brother is a great inspiration. Pooja, Shahana, Sumaiya share similar lives, a pain behind their smiles, a passion to change their family’s destiny through cooking, and to prove the statement ‘anybody can cook’ was a kind of a new revolution in the field of cooking. Some kind of magic these little stars have.
Where there are kids, the one thing you prominently get is a big laughter and you just forget everything to live that moment.. The same happened on the sets of Junior Masterchef, some kids gave their dish a funny name like Cream O Gulla, Hacker ki Balle-Balle, Satte pe Satte Chicken Satte.. lol and my personal favorite Chicken Lemon Grass for cutie cutie Vikas , some of them won the heart of the judges with funny yummy dishes and innocence of some kids brought a smile on every face. Sanya cooked a Thai dish and named it King Kud Puf Kong which judges really enjoyed pronouncing it correct and her dish was equivalent to the yummiest Thai food. Moreover, the best part was when she said that “I want to become a chef though everyone in my family is a doctor so the judges said, you are a ‘Khane ki doctor’ so she said with all her feelings and emotions coming on her face that ‘No, Chef is not a doctor Chef is an artist’ which was the most valuable compliment for Chefs in true sense
Awwwww she is so cutteeeeee , that’s what my reaction was when I saw Komal, a 9 year old girl, it was worth watching the way she speaks, the innocence in her single word and laugh, and the sweetness of the spider chocolates made by her.. Though judges had a tough time breaking it ha-ha but one amazing concept she has come up with, i.e., fried noodles dipped in chocolate giving it the shape of a spider.. Lots of positive energy this girl is blessed with but she was told to come next year with more practice and same amount of energy. Udit Kumar Kishor bhai Joshi..one more super cute and energetic kid..can’t stop laughing while watching him..his only concern was to make his dish a hit and to win the apron lol but unfortunately he needs more practice and more knowledge about cooking. I wonder from where these kids bring so much of energy..!!
Biswas was given the title ‘Book of Ingredients, Book of Passion, Book of trust and the most important Book of Flavors’ and also got a salute from Chef Kunal, he even knows how to flambé a dish..super strong kid he is no I mean at the age of 9, doing flambé awesome..!! His dish Bhetki Fillet (fish) and rice with some sauce impressed the judges, there was a flavor in every single grain of rice, but the one thing he did wrong, he poured the entire sauce into his dish so Chef Kunal explained him how to balance the quantity of different food in one single dish. Another brilliant kid who walked with a Rajasthani dish and attire representing his culture, Devendra, a 12 year old , whose dream is to become a wholesome Rajasthani Chef and make his father proud. He is master in everything, from selecting the ingredients to serving a dish, for him, the most important thing is to cook with love which is indeed the most crucial ingredient to be used in cooking. The personality he carries is admirable and his simple and traditional dish Malpua with Rabdi was looking so sinful. The wow moment was when judges played a prank on him, saying he is not selected and sending him back by giving a gift, but when he opened the box and found the apron in it, he filled with joy and started dancing and singing mujhe apron mil gaya lol Judges measured the dish of Arnav on international standards. These kids are self motivated to learn about this culinary world more and more.
The Dabang kid Soham cooked Malwan Cuisine, a full meal. A beverage got spilled over his dish by mistake but then also he didn’t lose any confidence, Chef Kunal helped him to reset the platter, judges really liked what he cooked, the balance and knowledge of flavors he has. Another kid who influenced everyone was Roshan, usually parents make tiffin for their kids but in his case it is opposite, here he loves to cook and daily prepare lunch for his parents while they are at work. He is a passionate cook which could be easily noticed by the way he express his love for cooking. <3 He cooked Parwal Masala, Curd Paratha and Kheer which was relished by the judges with love.
Here comes the ‘Queen of Cupcakes’, an 8 year old angel, Eva, cooked so many cupcakes all with different icing and flavors, while Emanuel, a 9 year old ‘Super hero of Food’, surprised the judges with his imagination, creativity, knowledge and spinach prawn rolls with steamed fish. They both got entry to the boot camp.
The most beautiful and yummiest looking dish was Harshika’s Milfiye Cheese cake, a french dessert.. The crust of pastry we got to hear, the presentation she has done, it was looking so tempting and it waaasss I am sure because the way judges were enjoying eating it, you could easily imagine. I do not have words to describe her dream and love for cooking. Her mom who passed away one and a half months back, wanted to make her a chef which is Harshika’s dream as well and you can easily see the hard work she has put in to make her and her mom’s dream come true. Don’t know from where this little princess got the strength in tough days of her life. Hats off to this Lil star.
Many children who require to learn more about cooking were not selected and went with a hope to come back next year with more dedication. But isn’t it great participating in such a big competition…? I mean at such a small age they know what they want to do in life, they know their goals and have already started moving on a path to fulfill the dreams. From so many kids, the judges selected the creamy layer, the 36 Swaad ke Ustaad who will make the future of cooking bright in India with more devotion and more love for cooking. You must see them cooking in Boot camp, how deeply they indulged themselves in cooking making their dream come true with so much of fun, energy and confidence. Thinking of the dish on the spot, giving a name to it, doing variations, the uniqueness they have to give to their dish and presenting a flavorsome dish in just one hour, only a true chef can do this and these little chefs are marvelous, magical wands they have. Who said they are kids, watching them with so fine cooking skills is an illusion. So impressive they are, and so do their dishes. Trust me you will get a lot to learn from this show.
What to say about the three honored judges, I mean the atmosphere they have created for children to make them comfortable in the kitchen, they act like protecting angels, all the time appreciating and motivating them. Even Chef Kunal who is known as the strictest chef of all, this time I am surprised by seeing another side of the coin, d sweet one, lol.. The way he guides the kids with love at every single step says everything about him. The bonding of kids with these chefs have totally changed the meaning of a judge and a contestant relationship..!!
Only 10 fine junior chefs out of 36 got selected for the final kitchen journey. Never want to miss watching them doing wonders in the kitchen…Swad, Surat and Soch with a blend of talent, magics, creativity, inventions, imagination, passion, surprises, perfection, hope, courage, smiles, tears, patience, lessons, hard work, efforts and above all, the love for cooking. All I wanted to say that there is no age, no limits and no time for cooking. You can never know what miracles you can do and how far they take you. So keep watching this amazing show and Keep Cooking with all the love for you have it..!!
* Top 10 Swad Ke Ustaads with Swaad, Soch and Surat in their cooking:
1. Devendra Singh -
He was taught cooking by his bhabhi. Apart from cooking his other hobby is acting. He has never cooked non – veg. He wants to grow up and become famous, thus making his family proud.
2. Emanuel Chouhan -
Emanuel is a tiny tornado and is very creative! His creativity is reflected in his cooking. He is energetic and at times can be messy in the kitchen. Chef Vikas has given him the title of Bal Bachchan as he gave a long winded explanation for how he came up with the Barfiley Sholey trick.
3. Harsheika Doshi-
Harshieka Doshi has been cooking for the past year and a half. She also loves doing magic tricks and participates in extracurricular activities in school. She is very sensible, sensitive and mature for her age and is very protective about her younger sister.
She learnt cooking as she loves eating and it inspired her. It was her mom who guided her. She has been cooking from the age of eight. She is both shy and sensitive. Her father has a hotel in Masoori that is run by him.
5. Pammi Singh-
Pammi loves cooking and also talking. She loves dancing as well, but is not allowed to pursue it. Cooking is encouraged at home.She started cooking when her mum took ill and has been cooking from the age of eight.
6. Roshan Saw-
Roshan Saw belongs to a middle class family in Jharkhand. His parents run a ladies’ tailor shop and he also helps them sometimes. He cooks daily at home, in spite of his elder sister being at home. His mom works and spends most of the time at the shop, hence he has to cook for his family and sometimes also for the workers working at the shop. His mom says he is not good in studies but he is very fond of cooking. He has been cooking for the past 1 year.
7. Sakshi Tripathi-
Sakshi has been cooking for the past three years. She also likes cycling and Bharatnatyam. She is very talkative and wants to be a chef when she grows up. When she is angry she puts a lot of spice in her food and when she is happy she puts lots of sugar into it.
8. Sanya Raheja-
9. Sarthak Bhardawaj-
Sarthak Bhardwaj is a young boy from Dehradun. He is in the eighth standard. He started cooking because he owns a small stall. In the absence of his mother he helps himself too. His other hobby is playing football. His mom says he is a very responsible kid.
10. Soham Raje-
Soham Raje loves eating as much as he loves cooking. He has a gang in school. He loves non – veg food and is not fond of vegetables. He is very carefree and is a huge foodie. He also loves horse riding and playing drums.
All the best from TTR to all the incredible junior master chefs..!! Keep cooking and never lose hope..!! <3
*Courtsey - Amul Junior Masterchef India – Swaad Ke Ustaad, Sat-Sun 9:00 P.M on Star Plus