India’s first MasterChef Pankaj Bhadouria was in Hyderabad as a part of Pearl Fest Culinary Factory at BITS Pilani, Hyderabad.
Says Pankaj, “I was a teacher for a long time before I decided to participate in the contest. Being a teacher always helped me to plan my schedules and work under the contest pressures. Our family comprises of individuals who relish chicken. There are all ‘chickeitarians’.
Therefore, I always had to keep dishing out chicken recipes which finally got translated into my book, Chicken From My Kitchen. There are 54 chicken recipes in this book that come from all over the country. Healthy food is all about cooking with the right ingredients in the right way.
The best form of using various spices is through traditional extraction methods rather than using the modern kitchen grinder. This is because the traditional process results in extraction of the original flavour of these spices instead of being crushed in the grinder.
“I have launched ‘The Pankaj Bhadouria Culinary Academy’ which trains students who travel abroad for further studies, on how to handle their kitchen needs. After fixation of marriage, clueless young girls come to the academy to get trained in the art of cooking.
How many of you know that in India most of the sweet dishes have always contained a pinch of salt, while many hot dishes contain a little bit of sugar? Few years ago, I got an opportunity to prepare an exclusive ‘Awadhi cuisine’ for the dinner of the King of Bhutan.
A very important message for the young generation is about not what to eat, but to eat in time. We should ensure that the breakfast, lunch and dinner is taken at the right time to lead a healthy life.
With the advent of social media and many national and international television channels dedicated to cooking, a lot of fame and glamour has got attached to the art of cooking. Worldwide, there is lot of interest in the Indian food and methods of cooking. It’s therefore a great career option,” concludes Pankaj.
— The writer is a musician, creator of ‘Jaywant Guitar’ and a freelance photographer...