This week we interview young chef Aaryyan Aathreya about his passion for cooking and how his journey began. He has previously won Chef of the Week awards on a reality TV show and is currently training at Tuscana and Radisson Blue restaurants. Aaryyan’s mission statement is to ‘cook-up and win a billion hearts’, and at 13 he’s off to a good start.
How were you first introduced into the world of cooking?
I first started cooking when my mum was bed ridden and my dad was unable to manage both home and office work. Due to both of my parents being in a helpless state, I decided to experiment in the kitchen on my own, while my mother gave me advice once in a while.
Tell us a bit more about the cooking show you competed in?
Kitchen Superstar Junior was a very exciting and competitive experience. When I first auditioned I hardly knew how to cook. I was quite nervous at first because until then I had never taken cooking seriously. After I lost my place in the show I decided to change my life for good and make cooking my passion. The show also managed to help me improve my confidence.
Is there a lot of competition out there for young cooks?
I only compete myself. I make sure that I improve and love what I do. I want to compete with the outside world but instead try to improve what I do.
What keeps you motivated?
My family keeps me motivated. My family is my strength and my best honest critic.
What plans have you got in order to further your experience and career?
I try to put in a lot of hard work in the kitchen. I’m constantly cooking for 4 hours a day, every day. I aim to become a Michelin chef and the head chef of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
How do you market yourself?
I actually don’t market myself. I just want people to learn to love what they do and enjoy my wonderful cooking.
Although, I do have a Facebook Page you can visit:
Is there anyone you’re working for at the moment?
Yes, a big thanks to my uncle Vipin Sachdev of Tuscana and Vikram Cotah of Radisson Blue for letting me train in their kitchens. I go to these restaurants every weekend to further my training.
Can you spill one of your secret recipes for us?
Here’s a quick guide to making Broken Wheat Mix:
Broken wheat – 1 cup
Oregano – 2 tsp
Chilli Flakes – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Bell Peppers : red, yellow and green (finely chopped) ½ each
Boiled and Mashed Potatoes : 2 medium size
Onions: 1 finely chopped
Garlic: 5 – 6 cloves finely chopped
Soak semolina for 10mins. Strain and partly boil with one cup water and simmer for 5mins. Strain again.
On non-stick pan- sauté onions, garlic, bell peppers in olive oil for 3mins. Add flavouring, mashed potatoes and broken wheat.