makeshift Master Chef hats designed for the enthusiastic contestants by the lovely hosts

Last weekend, the air was hot, mood tangy and thoughts spicy. Something was cooking! Literally.

Men in the house had hijacked the kitchen and they looked as busy as popcorn on a skillet. The kitchen was out of bounds for the day with occasional utensil-falling, water-splashing and smoke-spewing episodes. After hours of heated activity, the son and father-in-law duo emerged out of the kitchen well-prepared for the journey to the all-hyped cooking contest in town.

Cooking isn’t exactly their daily cup of tea :-), but contest is serious business.

Kannada Koota members had announced a ‘Display of culinary skills’ contest. Guess what? It was for all men in the group! The event was hosted by the lovely couple, Pratibha and Sujay Kamat in their beautiful and cosy abode.

The 16 contestants were full of beans that evening. They put-together a variety of mouth-watering, finger-licking, lip-smacking delicacies with a good sense of humus.

Each one took utmost pride in showcasing his culinary masterpiece. Following were the items on the menu that evening.

Sl. No.ContestantsDishes
1Shivaethnic Chitranna
2Sujayspicy Chilly volcano (menasinakaay bajjees)
3Ravishankarheavenly Anna + Koli saru
4Raghuveerluscious Khara Pongal + Veggie Chinese
5Rajendraflavorsome Fish fry + Malai Tikka Boti
6Manjunathambrosial Panna Cota
7Ganapathiclassy Pasta Italian
8Nagendrazesty Papdi Sevpuri
9Shivanandaromatic Steamed turmeric leaf fish + Sabudana Payasa
10Sanjaysoothing Curd rice
11Sunilhot Masala tea
12Krishnasoulful Samosas
13Rahuldesi Makki roti + Himachali Redu
14Muralisucculent Corn strawberry salad + spicy buttermilk
15Vineeshheartfelt Veg Cutlet
16Vijaysavory Veg Biriyani + Kashi halwa

An assortment of yummylicious dishes prepared by the contestants.

All contestants put up a legendary effort and great show, giving the judges a tough time in choosing the best among the best! Judges were in full swing, under the leadership of Pratibha Aithal who devised a democratic voting and unbiased scoring system.

Everyone scores. No one scores their own family.

The judging criteria had three components including

recipe/ingredients, presentation and taste.

Chefs trying their best to woo the judges with their culinary and presentation skills.

All contestants gave their best shot at presenting their fruits of labor, while at the same time looking as cool as a cucumber.

Selecting the winners was indeed a hot potato. After much tasting, analysis and score-tallying the cream of the crop were announced by the esteemed judging panel.

First prize was awarded to Manjunath Prabhu for Panna cotta, an Italian dessert made of sweetened cream thickened with gelatin and molded. The cream made a refreshing delight aromatized with chocolate, vanilla and other flavorings, topped with cherry. The creamy, rich, smooth dessert was both elegant and delicious.
Second prize was awarded to Rahul for Makki Roti (ajwain wali) and Himachali Redu.
Makki roti made from corn flour, is rich in A and B complex vitamins that help keep sluggishness of winters at bay. ‘Redu’ is a curd-based quick-fix recipe that has a condiment of spices tempered in desi ghee. Its anti-inflammatory properties improve digestion and keep skin healthy.
Third prize was awarded to Shivanand Naik for his fishful thinking and cooking steamed fish in turmeric leaf and hesarubele-sabakki payasa. Turmeric leaf steamed fish is a delicacy of Karavali (coastal Karnataka) where he comes from. Apart from the medicinal benefits and aromatic bliss, this flavorful dish fills the heart and belly of a fisheterian with joy and content. He also whipped up a delicious payasa to please the vegetarians.
Winners of the Master Chef Kannada Koota receiving their prizes.

All other contestants were awarded with consolation prizes for their contribution. Cooking is not a piece of cake. It does take a lot of effort to cook and showcase! (agreed by the men this time).

While the contest was on, members felt free to indulge in the buffet and treat their taste buds. There was so much food all around. We did bite off more than we could chew!

To spice things up, the day also happened to be the wedding anniversary of Krishna and Sharada, which all members celebrated with joy and cake cutting.

In the end, it was less about the cooking and more about the camaraderie. Sharing is caring.
The experience was sweet and sour, and definitely fun!
In a prompt display of sportsmanship all contestants came together for a group photo.
You can have the cake and eat it (too)!

In a nutshell, it was a fabulous evening, where every contestant was worth his salt!

We look forward to more such fun-filled events and cooking (by the boys) in the future.

May everyone be fed.

(May no one be fed-up!)