I was surfing through Facebook around a month ago and came across numerous posts from my friends that read, “So and so is going to an event” and the event’s name was “World on a plate”. The first couple of posts I just ignored and kept scrolling but then suddenly something caught my eye. I went on to the Events Page and shrieked out of excitement. On the cover of that page was a picture of George, Matt and Gary, the three most iconic celebrity chefs who are the judges for MasterChef Australia. I immediately thought to myself that I have to go for this and meet these inspirational chefs.

I went on to the booking site and there were a whole load of events packed into 2 days from a basic entry pass to an actual master class.
An event that caught my eye was the VIP Brunch + MasterChef live judging where the three Chefs would taste the food of 6 Iconic restaurants in Bangalore and pick a winner from the lot after which there would be a brunch with the top restaurateurs of the industry. I found this as a perfect chance for networking, meeting new chefs and building up a contact with them.
However, when I looked at the price for the pass, it was very steep and well out of my budget. I lost all hope and was very dejected as I was really looking forward to meeting the masterchef judges and all the other chefs from Bangalore.

I got extremely dejected over the days when suddenly a thought struck me. I decided to approach Mr. Kunal Vasudeva (Our college’s COO) and see if he could help me out in any way. To be honest, I was a little scared to approach him as I had no idea what his reaction could possibly be. Firstly, I explained what the event is all about and then explained to him what my goals are for this event. I explained to him how it would be a fantastic networking chance for the college and myself and what a great opportunity it was to build my contacts for the future. Kunal sir readily agreed, without any hassle.

However he said that it should not be only me who should benefit from this but also all the other students at Ecole as well as all the aspiring chefs around the world. Hence we agreed that I would record right from the start and continuously post videos on Snapchat as well as our official page on Facebook, so that everyone can watch this and get inspired.

I was ecstatic. I could finally see myself going and witnessing the MasterChef judges in action.
At this point I would like to thank Mr. Kunal and Mr. Rajiv for their constant support, not only from my side but from the entire student body at Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa. Thank you so much for giving us students so much exposure and the free will to do as we like.

The following days were hectic and busy but my mind never got off the event. It was always nagging me and I just could not wait to go out there and soak in as much as I could.

Fast forward to the day of the event. The date was 5th June and it was a dark and gloomy day but the weather could not dampen my spirits what so ever. The scheduled time was 12 30 pm. I was up and ready to leave be 11 so I could be well ahead of schedule and soak up as much as I could.

I reached J.W Marriott well in advance and started to soak up the atmosphere. The place was bustling with people, the energy was high and everybody were in the mood to have a great time. Everyone, as expected, had dressed up in their finest clothing and the thing that stood out really was the vibrancy.

The entrance was lined up with a host of Food Trucks selling a variety of things right from waffles to sliders to ice creams and a lot more.
The first thing I did was went to the ticket counter and got my band that gave me access to the event. Then I went around the stalls and explored them until it was 12 30. I raced into the hall and managed to find a seat right ahead, in the second row from the stage. The hall quickly filled with loads and loads of people who had all come to witness the three judges.

At this point of time, my excitement was growing beyond measure. MasterChef Australia is not just a show to me anymore. I have been following this show since I was 11 years old and I have watched every season’s, every episode. Over time I realized that other than entertainment value, MasterChef gives my so much inspiration and re ignites the love of food in me. Whenever I watch an episode, I understand why I have chosen this line of work and it gives me immense pleasure when I dream about cooking. The three judges have become the face of the show and clearly, the show is nothing without them, and hence the excitement as well as the anxiety.

The host suddenly comes up on stage and gives a brief introduction about himself. After which, he gives a que to the judges to come up on stage. The crowd erupts. I lose my head and start screaming as well. For the first time in my life I have seen George, Matt and Gary less than 100 meters away from me.

I zoned out and was completely submerged in what the judges had to say. They opened the discussion by talking about their personal journey and the journey of MasterChef. Then they sent out a message to all the budding chefs around the world and finally, they recounted all their experiences and memories of their trip in India.1 After about half an hour into the event, they called upon the first dish of the day, prepared By Chef Akshay from the Copper Kadhai and they did it exactly the way they do it on Television. It was like watching an episode of masterchef live.
Everything was exactly the same. From the way they judges the plating, to the way they ate their food and the comments that they made about it. It was amazing to see how well they could identify Indian spices by just tasting the dish.

The other chefs were called upon one by one. They included restaurants like Shiro, Ottimo, Whitefield Bar and grill, toscano, etc. They tasted their dishes and explained very clearly what worked and what did not work with the dish.

After the tasting was the decision making time where they would decide the top 3 dishes of the day. Chef Sanjeev from the Whitefield Bar and Grill won the best dish award for his modern twist on a souvlaki.

The judges then had a little chat session and answered a few questions. I was still not able to process that I was sitting right in front of the three judges who I so fondly watch every night on the television.

After the competition closed, the judges left and the brunch was open to all. It was an incredibly widespread buffet that had a cheese station, salads, tandoor, pastas, Indian breads, curries and roast items. There was also an open bar and a massive dessert counter. I did not waste such a golden chance. I managed to speak to a lot of the other guests who were present, most of them being huge foodies. A particular gentlemen I met was the head of ‘Foodies In Bangalore’, a critically acclaimed page which gives the most accurate descriptions of restaurants in Bangalore. Other than that, I spoke to all the 6 Chefs who participated in the competition and exchanged my business cards with them. More importantly, I asked them for advice on what it is like to excel in the industry.

So all in all, I had a scrumptious meal, met the top chefs of the city, met a couple of food bloggers but most importantly, I managed to see George, Matt and Gary. MasterChef fans will know what a huge deal this is.

Thanks again Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa for making me live my dream and giving me so much incredibleexposure.
While I portrayed myself out there, I realized how much I have progressed in the last two years and how easily I have come out of my shell. Thanks again Kunal Sir and Rajiv Sir. We hope we can live up to whatever you spire for us to achieve.

– Amar Chinikamwala