Culinary adventure for a young Bangalorean
June 8 held some thrilling moments for Sridharan and Radhika’s family as they watched their 10-year-old daughter Hasvika Sridharan on Food Food Channel take the crown when she won the ‘Young Chef India Junior-2019,’ a national-level cooking competition conducted by the Bengaluru-based International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM). “I was thrilled to see my daughter make it. I froze and wondered if this was all true,” said Radhika on phone, still in disbelief four days after the show. This was the first edition of the cookery competition conducted for the age group 9 to 13, she says, adding, “Hasvika’s name will remain on record.”
While IIHM has been running the national senior cooking competitions for the past nine years, Venkatesh B, Head, Marketing, Admission and Events, IIHM, says the first edition of the junior competition initially flagged off with 1500 participants from all over India.
“The junior event had five major rounds to be cleared to reach the final. Competitions happened in four zones in India over the last one year. While 40 students were in the zonal semi finals, two from each zone made it to the Mega Final. Hasvika was adjudged the best Junior for the Young Chef India Junior-2019 last week,” says Venkatesh.
Ask Hasvika about her signature dish that won her the title and the bubbly girl describes her choice of Bell Pepper Rice or Capsicum Rice, and ‘Shyam Savera’ paneer-palak balls to go with it. “For Bell Pepper Rice I made tava rice directly after soaking it for 15 minutes.Next, I added a mixture of onion and capsicum sautéed in butter with black pepper and salt and then mixed everything,” she explains. Shyam Savera used grated paneer with cheese and spinach to make paneer-palak balls which were shallow fried. “It was dark green on the outside and white paneer on the inside, so it looked good when it was cut, the judges said,” says Hasvika.
When she took part in the cookery contest, Hasvika was studying at Harvest International School; she has begun studying in class five at Silver Oaks on Sarjapur Road. “She is a Bengaluru girl, and loves the city as all her interests are blooming here,” says Radhika, adding, “Hasvika is also a Bharatanatya dancer, and was awarded Player of the Tournament for football at her school last year. She has varied interests, cooking being her favourite from the time she was three years old.”
- Chaat basket that looks like a nest — a papdi base mixed with potatoes and coriander leaves, paneer for the eggs
- Spaghetti with soya balls tossed in olive oil and garlic
- Cake from digestive biscuits and chocolate syrup with whipped cream and gems in the centre
- Cup cakes with all kinds of fillings – cream, gems and strawberries
Nothing misses Hasvika’s observant eyes. “Though her grandmother Jayanthi always encouraged and helped her try out anything she wanted to in the kitchen, Hasvika would be enamoured with our neighbour’s innovative drinks served with interesting toppings that she would immediatley wanted to learn,” says Radhika.
Talking about her keen interest in watching cookery channels, Hasvika says it was chef Sanjeev Kapoor who inspired her to serve paneer-palak balls on rice. The finale was judged by renowned chefs Abhishek Gupta and Shaun Kenworthy amongst others.