CHENNAI : It’s easy to get Vinusha MK excited — just give her some butter, flour and cocoa sprinkles, and she’d get to baking a sumptuous set of her favourite cupcakes. The nine-year-old was recently spotted at a food pop-up in the city, where she had displayed cupcakes from her brand Four Seasons Pastry.
“Each flavour denotes a season. Autumn cupcakes have dried leaves as toppings, summer is yellow-coloured, winter has snowflake toppings and spring has floral toppings,” said Vinusha, who was busy exchanging her business cards with fellow entrepreneurs and social media bloggers.
Little did she know that baking a chocolate cake for her mother’s birthday would pave the way to start a brand. “In one of my first attempts, I forgot to grease the baking tray but somehow managed to pull the cake out in the shape of a heart. I started at an amateur level, watching YouTube videos to learn. Then I started attending workshops to equip myself with basic skills,” said Vinusha, who recently attended a five-day baking programme.
The class four student of Amrita Vidyalayam, Ramapuram, completes her homework and academic activities during working days. Weekends are strictly meant for baking and experimenting in the kitchen. “I love Spanish bread loaves made by MasterChef Carlos because they’re made of wheat flour and do not contain sugar. Chef Geetha Krishnan is my favourite Indian chef. Recently, I got a chance to attend a session by MasterChef Sashi Cheliah. These are small opportunities that I never miss,” said Vinusha, who has been baking for a year and a half now.
She’s taken part in cooking competitions across the city. Last month, she took part in Junior Chef Champ at Forum Mall and amazed the judges with her paneer burger. The second was a Cadbury contest held at PVR cinemas, where she teamed up with her mother and prepared scrumptious banana chocolate dip and shake. “My favourite compliment has been from celebrity chef Damu. I was asked to clean a raw chicken, marinate and deep fry it. Even before he began with the instructions, I sprinkled the curry powders in my own measures. Luckily, the taste turned out to be fine. He called mine one of the best he’d tasted in a while,” said Vinusha with pride.
Vinusha does not restrict herself to baking, occasionally making salads and burgers. “She is fond of baking and we wanted to encourage her. We’re not sure how confident she’s about running a brand. Keeping the business aspect aside, we also want her to enjoy her childhood. Finding the right classes for her at this age has been a task. However, we now know how to go about it,” said her mother Kavitha, who owns a preschool.
The little chef enjoys cooking for her friends and family. Ask Vinusha about her future plans and she confidently answers, “Baking is precious to me. I want to sell my cupcakes for birthday parties on social media platforms. My dream is to build a baking institute since finding a career abroad can be an expensive affair for many kids.”