Five years ago, a group of ladies gathered in animated discussion on a living room floor. The agenda was simple: find a way to raise funds for charity. Plenty of ideas were tossed around. But the one that made the cut turned out to be a cooking competition called SuperChef, inspired by MasterChef. Ironically, no one had
any time to cook that night, save for the nachos and cheese that were doing the rounds.
Everyone went home that night with two things: a ravenous appetite and one question — would Chennai be ready step up and cook the way those peeps did on TV?
Organised by the Madras Cosmopolitan Ladies Circle 38 and Madras Cosmopolitan Roundtable 94, a whopping 12 lakh was raised that year. Celebrity judges like Vicky Ratnani flew down to watch 12-year-olds create tri-coloured ravioli. Home makers with a flair for the culinary arts went into a tizzy. And a sole male contender surprised everybody and took home the win!
Fast forward to SuperChef’s fifth edition this weekend, and the Rotary Club of Annanagar, Dist 3230 has joined on board as well, alongside The Park and Cardia Life. Shweta Reddy, chairman of the Madras Cosmopolitan Ladies Circle 38 says looking back the event has come a long way. “Last year, we raised `17 lakh. And we also started an international food carnival which is continuing this year as well, with a new introduction of masterclasses from our celebrity judges.”
Of course, with the contest open to amateur cooks of all ages, the biggest surprise was the overwhelming response from kids across the city. “They also come with the biggest cheerleading section, complete with both parents and sometimes even grand parents,” she says with a laugh.
Watch out for oddball combinations like paneer and gourd as mystery ingredients, relay style cooking rounds between teammates and unexpected
googlies thrown into the mix to keep participants on their toes. Between competitive cooks, consequent flavour bombs and funds raised for a cause — you could say appetites satiated go far beyond a weekend competition with this one.
Bowl over the judges with your pre-cooked dish on February 4, to make it to the final round on February 5. Register at 7550105147 or log on to superchefchennai.com— Sonali Shenoy
I have to say that the kids category is my favourite, Watching nine and 10-year-olds roll fresh pasta and make ravioli is quite something. And every year, you can never tell. It’s always bag full of surprises!
Last year, I tasted over 70 dishes in a day and ended up sweating profusely by the end of it. Hopefully, they will go easy on me this time. (Laughs) I can’t wait to see what they have for us, especially fresh faced hospitality students. Also, I’m looking forward to getting some biryani tips from the Nawab’s cooks.
For me personally, I get more motivated every year that I come back because SuperChef is not just a cooking competition but one that is associated with a cause. I sponsor over 2,000 children as part of my own charity giving initiative and this is yet another reminder to give back to the community.