June 12, 2016
The atmosphere was thriving in its competitive spirit when I entered the kitchen of Mid-Valley International College where the National Culinary competition was ongoing. Fifteen chefs in their tall, white, pleated hats, or as the French call it â€œtoque -blancheâ€, and double breasted jackets were working eloquently on their â€˜dish for the day.â€™ The room was filled with an assortment of sweet, sour and delicious smell, which tickled my tongue. It seemed to me as if I had entered the set of â€˜Master Chef.â€™
The competition was probably the first of its kind in the country to be held in such an exquisite level. Providing a mainstream platform where culturally diverse individuals would come together in the most creative manner to form a network of progressive and booming culinary industry. The food in itself had passionate vibes to it. Yellow, orange, green, red and white were some of vibrant colors in the dishes which also reflected the energy of the day. Similarly, different traditional and exotic spices used in the courses added variety and texture to the dishes. Brie cheese infused salmon, with spinach and saffron hollandaise sauce, and Chicken Toscana with mashed potatoes were two of the winning dishes of the competition. The right combination of presentation, portion, nutrition, and taste was the mantra for perfect dish.
Moreover, the articulate judging panel included some of the expert chefs such as Govinda Narshing Kc â€“ President Of Chef Association Nepal; and Yuba Raj Pokharel- Executive Chef of Soaltee Crowne Plaza. Meanwhile, Dr. Souji Gopalkrishna Pillai, and Hairul Hisam Bin Bujang from HELP University (Malaysia) were the chief judges for the day. The competition seemed intense and the food seemed impassioned to the Judges. I could not help but comprehend the manner in which Judges would painstakingly slice a piece, test its moisture, if the food is cooked to required temperature, swirl a bite, guess the ingredients , and finally determine if the taste fits. The phenomenon would conjure up to become mouth-watering. The food would then be judged on the basis of cleanliness, innovation, standard professional expertise and most importantly the taste.
Furthermore, the competition was one of its kind with a pioneer and sound approach to the industry of cooking and hospitality management. Where sometimes fields like IT, science and technology overshadows art such as cooking, competitions as such gives exposure to aspiring youths who cook from their soul. It appreciates and encourages what we have all been doing traditionally that is cooking. However, competitions like this mold cooking, build it into International standards, and make cooking healthier and innovative than ever. Food then becomes the ultimate delicious creativity otherwise anybody could cook!
By Shambhavi Singh
The writer is an A-Level graduate from Chelsea International Academy and is doing her internship at Glocal Khabar.