Ever sat in a roomful of kids, where the adults were asked to ‘put a finger on their lips?’ Yeah, neither had we. In a delicious twist to the norm, celeb chefs who were judging the ‘kids round’ of SuperChef Chennai 2016 went beyond their tasting platters to make 12-year-olds feel like real chefs in the making. The little ones had a rather hectic one hour working their imaginations around the focus ingredient — pumpkin.
With choices ranging from a pumpkin smoothie to spaghetti in pumpkin sauce, the judges were quite in awe of the results, some even clicking a quick picture. The popular faces on the panel included Vicky Ratnani, a regular on NDTV Good Times, Sanjay Thumma of Vahrevah fame on YouTube, Aditya Bal from his show Chakh Le India and Ashutosh Nerlekar, executive chef, The Park Chennai. The event, in its fourth edition, was organised by the Madras Cosmopolitan Ladies Circle 38 and saw over a hundred kids, aged 10 to 14 cook up a storm, before 12 teams were filtered into the final round.
Amid a flurry of nerves, fast chopping and playing tag with their cooking partner for the stove (one of the twists announced) — the audience was treated to a view of each platter. Of the 24 schoolgoers that made it to the finals, five were boys. That’s four more than the number of dads we counted in the audience!
One of the boys served up parottas with a rich pumpkin and curd chicken curry. Marvelling at how perfect each parotta was, chef Ratnani asked, “So when was the first time you made a parotta?” The student responded that it was just last week. When the chefs looked perplexed, he admitted, “But since then, I’ve made 200 parottas.” Talk about MasterChef work ethic!