Smit Sa­gar

22, stu­dent at In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre for Culi­nary Arts (ICCA) Dubai. He’s the only male fi­nal­ist

Friday - - FOODSHALA -

W hen I saw there were fewer than 10 male con­tes­tants at the au­di­tions I was a tad sur­prised. I had ex­pected more. I love cook­ing and was hope­ful of mak­ing it to the next round be­cause I was pretty sure that the food I had pre­pared was good and that the judges would love it.

For the au­di­tion, I pre­pared gnoc­chi stuffed with grated cot­tage cheese with makhni sauce. The judges found the sauce a lit­tle raw but were re­ally im­pressed by my dessert – barfi (a milk-based sweet) with phirni (ground rice pud­ding). They were im­pressed I had cre­ated such com­plex dishes.

Be­ing the only male con­tes­tant to make it to the sec­ond round is truly spe­cial. It’s scary be­ing among women who cook ev­ery day but I’m thrilled to be here. I’m rep­re­sent­ing all the men who en­joy cook­ing but couldn’t get through or were ap­pre­hen­sive about par­tic­i­pat­ing. The best part of the show? I’m pick­ing up a lot of cook­ery tips from the other con­tes­tants.

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