Auditions for Junior Masterchef began in Noida and will continue in Kolkata and Mumbai. D Kaushik took a look at what little ones were stirring up at Sapphire International School
The aroma of whipped cream, freshly-baked muffins and chocolate filled the air, as children got busy mixing cake batter and plating dishes with the help of mommies, who looked tenser than the little ones. They were on the sprawling lawns of Sapphire International School in Noida, auditioning for Junior Masterchef. It was interesting to watch the passion of children aged eight to 12 years, who had ignored the swings and games, to focus on the dishes.
Though Delhi MasterChef India: Kitchen Ke Superstar finalist Ripu Daman Singh was present to meet children, he was not involved with the selection. A team of chefs from Delhi were assigned the task. It was the first round of auditions in Delhi and families had arrived from places like Jaipur. We met Devesh Sharma, aged 12, who was accompanied by his chef dad. Devesh told us he learnt things himself, watching his father make food. He sometimes visits his hotel kitchen. Devesh had prepared an Italian dish that looked fantastic, but his dad declared it not entirely perfect. “I did not want him to be totally perfect. I am sure even judges would understand that perfection in cooking comes with experience,” said Chef Mahesh from Jaipur.
Cakes, cookies, quiches and other bakery goods were the most common items by children. Some are still learning from cooking school, like Misha Bhandari, who was waiting for an opportunity to try her luck on Junior Masterchef.
“I am an ardent follower of the show and learn from what’s happening in various episodes. I have always loved to cook. That is why my parents signed me for bakery classes,” shared Misha.
Some kids, mostly under 10, were barely able to hold plates right and admitted that their mothers helped prepare dishes. Most of those who fessed up to this were boys, who had to keep telling people what ingredients they used!
And Ripu was the hero of the day, as children picked up tissues, caps, flags and anything they could get hold of to take his autographs. Mums were more interested in having a picture taken with him. Some hoped he would divulge success mantras to their child. “I have been telling them to try something new, have confidence and pay attention to presentation,” shared Ripu, all set to shoot for the finale episode of MasterChef India. “I already proved a point to my family. Now winning or not winning doesn’t matter. In my parents’ eyes I am already a winner,” he said.
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