Contestants of Junior MasterChef want to cook good food and not outdo each other: Chef Kunal Kapoor

Chef Kunal Kapoor

The ultimate competition of culinary skills is back on TV.

Yes, MasterChef India will soon come to your TV screen but this time with a twist. The kitchen ustaad or rather ustaads this time are little kids. But standing tall every season as a judge is the very charming and cute chef Kunal Kapoor.

Recently, we caught up with the named chef at the launch of the show Junior MasterChef - Swaad Ke Ustaad for a candid chat.

On asking him about being the only consistent judge on the show, the chef laughingly said, “Well, in that case I am lucky for it is always a fun time with this show. And with kids coming in this season, it is going to be a bigger party.”

Reacting to children indulging in the art of cooking, Kunal averred, “This concept is popular in foreign countries, but I think that in India, it would be hard to find such young kids cooking. Surprisingly, I was taken aback when we got so many good young kids interested in cooking and I am sure people will love the show.”

When asked about the type of kids that came for auditions, the judge amazed us when he observed, “They are superb; these kids are completely out of the world. They can rattle up any recipe like experts, are not scared to experiment and can cook really delicious food. They have surprised us like anything.”

So how strict will he be as a judge, we asked him. “Everyone keeps on reminding me that when the show starts, I am quite friendly with the contestants but as the show progresses, I become the strictest. But with children since you cannot be rude, I would like to become their buddy. We will try our best to match up to their psychology and keep lots of patience and try our best to encourage them further,” he answered.

Children are supposed to be very moody, so how will the judges manage them? “They may be moody but when it comes to cooking, they are very serious about it. And the children are here to cook good food and not outdoing each other. For instance, during the initial rounds whenever someone would lack behind, these kids would actually cheer him/her. This in itself was so heartwarming,” he maintained.

The chef also added that these kids are really very innocent and would blurt out their secrets and indulge in naughtiness among each other.

When asked about easing the rules for the juniors, Kunal said that they maintained each and every rule. “Initially, we had planned to change some rules but looking at these wonder kids, we were sure that they would be able to perform with the same ones,” he informed. He however mentioned that extra precaution was taken by the team to avoid any mishap. Also during baking and deep frying, one of the judges was always there to keep an eye on the kids.

Reminiscing his early days of cooking, Kunal said, “I loved when my father used to cook and I, as a little kid, would sit beside and observe him. Slowly it became a hobby and then passion and now it’s my life.”

So, does he have any message for young kids who also have a dream of becoming a chef? “I would just say that keep cooking and love food. Go ahead and live your dream,” he opined.

We agree with you Kunal. Till then, enjoy the show to get a hearty treat of innocence and talent under the same roof.


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