Lucknow teacher is India’s best cook


It was a perfect Christmas gift for Lucknow- based Pankaj Bhadouria, who won the Star Plus’s reality cookery show, MasterChef India, on Saturday.Besides winning the title, Bhadouria walked away with a prize money of ` 1 crore, a contract to write a cook book, which would be launched by Star Plus, and an opportunity to host a cookery show on the channel.

” As of now, this feeling is yet to sink in. The journey has been hectic but despite the grind, it has been a fulfiling and rewarding experience. I would want to start a fine- dine restaurant in Lucknow with the prize money,” says Pankaj.More than the prize money, she is excited about hosting her own cookery show on the channel and a cook book.

A teacher by profession, Bhadouria’s passion to cook up new recipes landed her on this show.Bhadouria, 38, quit her job at the City Montessori School, Lucknow, to participate in this culinary competition. With no formal training in cooking or any faint association with the hospitality industry, her win has astounded the nation.” I have experimented with hundreds of innovative recipes over the years, which I have already compiled in my personal diaries.

Thanks to my passion for cooking, I never stuck to routine Indian cuisine’s but experimented and blended it with continental, oriental, Japanese and Thai food. So, I have already done some major work related to the book,” Bhadouria, who defeated Jayanandan Bhaskar, a small time fast- food joint owner from Lucknow in the finale, said.During the show, Bhadouria impressed the judges – actor Akshay Kumar and chefs Kunal Kapoor and Ajay Chopra – by dishing out scrumptious meals with her innovative recipes.

For the finale, her dishes were perfectly themed around the Christmas fever. Filmmaker Farah Khan, who was invited as a celebrity judge on this show, found it hard to believe that a woman from Lucknow could cook something as innovative as Drunk Chicken Log, Cheesy Dill Salmon, Italian salad and Cranberry Cheese Blossom.” This is because cooking is an art and each and every Indian woman, who is bleakly interested in cooking, is an artist.

One needs to just love the idea of cooking and serving food lovingly, which does the trick,” Bhadouria said.More than her, it’s her two children who are enjoying all the attention that she has been getting.” It’s only because of my two children I thought of participating in this culinary show.

According to them, I am the best cook in the world, so I had to prove it,” Bhadouria said proudly.Started in October this year, the show had 12 contestants, with only three of them reaching the final stage – Bhadouria, Bhaskar and Radhicka Agarwaal.Bhadouria was almost eliminated from the show in the initial rounds due to an elbow injury, but she stayed on and finally won the reality cookery show.

[Story Source] [Contest win Rs 1000-100,000 now]

This post was submitted by Mudit Agrawal.

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