Priya always wanted to become a chef. Kitchen and food were her best friend, she always loved being in that place, experimenting different dishes and trying out new ones. However, in her family, no one knew of her passion except her mother. Her engagement with cooking made everyone assume that she was simply spending her leisure time in the kitchen.
Priya wanted to pursue the career of cooking under the famous chef of the city, Saihan. So, one day she decided to ask her mother for the permission in going to the cooking competition. They were sitting on the balcony when Priya kept her thoughts in front of her.
“Mom, there is a competition in our city. Do you remember Saihan? She is the best chef and she won India’s best multi-cuisine chef title. Mom, I want to participate in this competition because she will be one of the judges and moreover if I win this competition, I will get a chance to work with her. Mom, please can I go? I really want to participate in this. This is my dream. Mom please?”, she pleaded her mother, her eyes shining with hope and determination.
Seeing her excitement, her mother agreed to her and decided to talk with Priya’s father.
It took a lot of persuasions but he finally agreed and Priya was more than eager to participate in the event. Winning was not the only motto, she wanted to make Saihan taste something exquisite and that’s why she very thoroughly planned out the details and the dishes she would cook. And as luck may have it, her mother agreed.
It was the day of the competition and every participant gathered in front of the judge’s table, waiting for the instruction. The rules were very simple and all they had to do was make their own dishes according to their own choices. This made everyone sigh in relief and as the clock started to tick, all the participants rushed to their own place, getting engaged in arranging the raw materials for cooking.
Priya had already chalked out her dish and so she swiftly gathered the ingredients, taking them back to the counter. She was nervous, her hands were clamped with sweat but unlike others, she didn’t allow her nervousness to hinder her from working properly. Her dish was the conglomeration of the four different regions of the country, the rice had a taste of the North, the prawn represented the blend of southern spices and seafood, the dessert was the famous one of the east while she chose to give the sauce a taste of the western cuisine.
When the bell rang, all of the contestants were told to step back from their counter. One by one everyone presented their dish in front of the judges. Most of them had made international cuisine and the judges were quite impressed with their proper understanding of the international food culture. This scared Priya and she started to hesitate in presenting her dish when she was called to present it.
She fidgeted with her dress as the judges tasted her dish one by one. After all of them had eaten a little from her dish, she stepped back with her plate and went back to her original place. When everyone had finished presenting their dishes, Saihan came forward and took the trophy and the batch from the stand. Coming forth, she smiled softly and started to speak.
“Everyone’s dish was very good and I am quite happy to say that today, it had been really difficult for us to judge and choose a winner. The exquisite blend of spices and the ingredients were mouth watering and I am looking forward to training young chefs like you. However, as the rules of the game suggest, there is only one winner today. And the contestant who has managed to convey her cooking skills in minute details and won our hearts is none other than Priya Saigal.” Her announcement shocked everyone because no one had thought her plain and simple dish could entice the judges so much.
“Yes it was simple, common Indian cuisine but it was extraordinary. Combining the essence of food hailing from four different cultural zones of our country is not easy, not when you need to make sure the tastes of the four cuisines match each other perfectly. And Ms. Priya had done exactly that. She had focused on the minute details of the dishes, going on further steps to ensure the blending is perfect and the complete dish emanates a single essence of Indian cuisine. At her level, it is quite unexpected because only professional chefs can do things like this. So please give a round of applause for Ms. Priya Saigal, the next Rising Cooking Chef!” everyone applauded for her as she went towards Saihan to receive the award.
She wanted to bring out the best in her dishes and that’s why she gave her attention to even the minute things which most of the other participants ignored. Her conscious efforts added that little ‘extra’ that helped her to win the competition.
MORAL: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORDINARY AND EXTRAORDINARY IS THAT LITTLE EXTRA