I dropped my son to his school just like every day. I visited a bookstore close by and picked up my regular monthly copy of BBC Good Food. The first page carried an ad by KitchenAid India, calling for entries for India’s first KitchenAid Probaker 2015 contest.
I had received a KitchenAid Stand Mixer as a gift for my birthday just a couple of months before that. A KitchenAid Stand Mixer was a dream come true for me. According to me, entering a contest by KitchenAid, was out of my league, because I didn’t want to let down the confidence my husband had in me. Hence, I decided to send in my entry. I decided to send the recipe of my Apple Tart and chose the picture I wanted to send. I filled up the form and sent my entry and completely forgot about it. I did not mention this to anyone as I was so confident of not going through.
After a month or so, I saw on KitchenAid Facebook Page that the results were out. I opened the link and saw some well-known names on the top. I immediately concluded that I was certainly not one of the shortlisted candidates. I closed the list without checking it completely and comforted myself that I never stood a chance. I don’t want to lie, but I did feel bad. Later in the evening, I received a mail from KitchenAid that I was shortlisted and I had to go through a cook-off in the ‘Regional level’. What? Seriously? I could hear my heart beat loud. It is a great feeling to be recognised for something you love doing. I opened the list again, that I had casually closed in the morning, and somewhere in the bottom was my name. I was so confident that my name couldn’t have been there. I was extremely thrilled that I was India’s Top 50! I was more than happy with that.
Then came the second mail from KitchenAid, about the cook-off. It was a mystery box challenge. Being a huge admirer of Masterchef Australia myself, I was so excited to know it was an invention test. We were apprised of the basic ingredients that we would be given during the invention test. But the core ingredients would be in a mystery box.
My friend who believes in me more than myself, sat with me and made sure I gave enough thought to the mystery box challenge. Keeping in mind the basic ingredients, I decided on the two dishes that I would make. I decided that I would either make a tart or a Roulade, depending on what the mystery box ingredients would be. If it were going to be a citrus fruit, I thought I would go with tarts filled with curd. If it was chocolates or nuts, I would go with a Roulade. I was keener on Roulade as it would make a greater impact.
The day of the Regional round soon arrived. I was so nervous and equally excited. I was going to have fun. I took all my tools and plates to plate up. After arriving at Lavonne, I went inside where the other contestants were waiting. We were all keen to know what the ingredients were. We were finally called into the room where there were boxes on the work stations with our names on them. We were asked to open each box and there were the ingredients. Milk chocolate, Banana, Almonds, Honey and Vanilla Bean.
It all worked out according to my plan. The obvious choice for me was to make a Chocolate Roulade. We had 4 hours. I had to make the roulade worth the 4 hours. Hence I decided to make meringues to go on top and Almond praline for the filling.
The Roulade turned out exactly how I had imagined it would be. I was happy with it. But there were 10 more amazing bakers in the room. The judges tasted my dish, and seemed impressed with the planning, plating and the taste.
Then came the announcement. When they called out my name first, I couldn’t believe my own ears. After that i went deaf and tears started rolling down my face uncontrollably, like a busted dam. I didn’t hear a word that Mohit and Hanisha said after that .
I was now one of the Top 8 Probakers of India! I had won a hand mixer in the initial rounds and now a stand mixer in the regional round and what more? The Top 8 were all taken to Delhi, to be trained under the renowned Cake Artist, Decorator ,Chef.Peachy Juban for a week, along with a lot of pampering by the Kitchenaid team.
A week full of valuable learning with Chef. Peachy, was the best award KitchenAid India could give us.The laughters, late nights, dinners, and all the fun was icing on the cake. That one week is one of the most memorable moments of my life.
That week ended with the finale. I did not win. But what i learnt and got back with me from that journey is invaluable. I met some amazing people, made friends for life. From that day until now, there has been no looking back. And my relationship with KitchenAid India has grown only stronger.