Bell Jumbo restaurant’s ‘Kitchen Queen’ cooking contest attracted many first timers flaunting innovative and tasty recipes

In their quest to identify a kitchen queen, the Bell Jumbo restaurant has unearthed a group of exciting and enthusiastic women willing to learn the nuances from master chefs.

The ‘Kitchen Queen’ cooking contest held on Independence Day attracted as many as 115 entries. Surprisingly most of the contestants were first time participants. The theme for the competition was chicken curry and 90 per cent of the entries were based on Chettinad style. There were also some interesting recipes like the Lemon chicken kuzhambu, Dhum chicken curry and Kashmiri chicken balls curry.

“Chicken curry may be a common dish, but it is tricky also. Preparation starts right from selection. The chicken should not weigh more than 900 grams. It should not be overcooked. What we look for is some tasty and innovative recipes with good presentation,” said V. Kesava Kumar, Executive Chef, Hotel Fortune Pandiyan, who was one of the judges for the contest.

Other judges were J. Mubarak Ali, sous chef, Sangam Hotel, Praveena Mukundan, food trail organiser and A. Nagarajan, Assistant HR Manager, Sangam Hotel.

Interestingly, the shortlisted candidates for the final round of selection were called in for an interaction with the judges. Since the competition allowed the participants to cook their dish at home, the team of judges wanted to know whether the dish was cooked by the participant herself.

“I am a regular to this restaurant and this is the first time I am participating in a contest. I wanted to showcase my culinary skill. I am happy to have made it to the finals. Now I have the confidence,” says R. Nalini, homemaker and a beautician. There were also live demonstrations by the seasoned chefs who made paneer butter masala and Kashmiri pulao and imparted knowledge to those gathered.

“Industry is changing and we want to build a relationship with our customers. Initially, we had planned for chicken biryani or karidosa, but finally went for chicken curry. I am happy that so many people participated at such a short notice,” said an elated Vichitra Rajasingh, the CEO of Bell Group of Hotels. Winners were selected based on taste, creativity and presentation of the dish. Aruna Rameshraj bagged the first place for her Kadambavanam milagu kozhi kuzhambu followed by Renuga Anand for chicken curry and Revathy Jaya Prakash for Lemon chicken kuzhambu. Five persons were awarded consolation prizes.